The Delaware Department of Correction Canine Unit held a graduation ceremony for its 2019 Basic Patrol K9 Class after 14 weeks of training.

During the ceremony, Special Operations Group Deputy Warden Louise Layton recognized the graduating K9 teams led by their instructors, Staff Lt. Gregory Dean, K9 Trainer Educator III Mark Bower and K9 Trainer Educator I Ryan Walker.

The ceremony took place Aug. 1 at the Delaware Department of Correction Administration Building. The graduation celebrated and recognized the successful completion of a Basic Patrol K9 Course consisting of various training methods including obedience, agility course, tracking, contraband search, evidence search, suspect search, criminal apprehension and handler protection. The handlers also received instruction on basic K9 health and first aid.

“We are extremely proud of our newest K9 teams and recognize their commitment and dedication to service,” said Deputy Bureau Chief of Prisons Paul G. Shavack. “Our Delaware Department of Correction K9 Teams offer many capabilities and are considered a force multiplier in keeping our facilities, correctional staff and offenders safe and secure.”

The 2019 Basic Patrol K9 Class consisted of three German shepherds and one Belgian malinois. Graduating K9’s and their handlers included Sgt. Nicole Sroka and K9 Drago, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center; Officer Aaron Lankford and K9 Knox, Howard R. Young Correctional Institution; Officer Garrett Taylor and K9 Sirius, Sussex Correctional Institution; and Officer Scott Bollinger and K9 Prince, Sussex Correctional Institution.