In the latter months of 2008, Newport Police Department reached out to the community for support in an effort to obtain a K-9 team for drug detection work. 'Friends of Newport K-9' began fundraising efforts within the community to raise $70,000 in order to purchase a police service dog and provide training for an Officer who will be part of the K-9 team.
On November 7, 2008, Officer T.J. Eriksen traveled to Portland to pick up Eyan, a two year-old German Shepherd, flown from the Czech Republic to Portland International Airport.
K-9 teams enhance a department’s ability to respond to emergencies, particularly in the areas of Officer protection, drug detection, tracking, area and building searches, and apprehension of suspects. Canines can perform these functions more quickly, efficiently, and safely than officers on foot.
The K-9 team provides a significant resource to assist our personnel and other law enforcement agencies in the area, in carrying out their duties, and this ultimately results in cost savings to the taxpayers.
Law enforcement agency K-9 teams are deployed on various patrol shifts and are also available for callout as necessary. The teams dedicate approximately eight hours to monthly maintenance training to demonstrate ongoing proficiency in their work, but in reality, every day is training when working with police service dogs. Obedience is the most important aspect of training and is the foundation for the successful performance of the other skills required of police service dogs.
K-9 teams promote an atmosphere of community awareness and positive public relations through programs and K-9 demonstrations presented for groups, organizations and school children. This ongoing positive interaction with the youth and. citizens .of .the .community, .coupled with their continued support and collaborative efforts,results in an effective and well maintained K-9 Program of which any community can be proud.
Eyan is now well known throughout the State, and is very active in the Oregon Police Canine Association. Eyan has consistently passed the rigorous Oregon certifications standards with a 100% score, as he did while testing for his National Certification with the National Police Canine Association. When the Newport Police Department hosted the 2010 OPCA Spring Seminar, Eyan passed the certification test with a 100% score, while other dogs were struggling for a passing score.
While working with Officer Eriksen, Eyan was deployed 231 times, and linked to 147 arrests. In comparison, the average number of arrests made by NPD officers during the same time period was 106. Eyan has been used by numerous agencies in Lincoln, Tillamook, Linn, and Benton Counties. Eyan directly assisted in the seizure of more than $80,000 of drug money. He has successfully detected every drug he’s trained to locate, which includes Meth, Marijuana, Cocaine (crack and regular), and Heroin.
Left to right: Officer TJ Eriksen, Eyan, Officer Keith Garrett
Newport Police Department - (541)-574-3348