WATERTOWN, NY (WWTI) – The Jefferson County law enforcement community welcomes its newest four-legged member.
A graduation celebration was held outside the Jefferson County Public Safety Building on April 8. This event honored not only new recruits, but also the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office’s newest K9, named K9 Lafferty.
Belgian Malinoi, barely a year old, has just completed a 14-week training program at the New York State Academy.
Standing with his Deputy Petty Officer Christian Hughes, K9 Lafferty was celebrated by Jefferson County Sheriff Colleen O’Neil, Jefferson County Deputy Sheriff and retired Jefferson County Sheriff James Lafferty, whose dog carries the name.
According to Jefferson County Sheriff O’Neill, Deputy Hughes was an ideal candidate to form a K9.
“We have a lot of enthusiasm and optimism about k(Lafferty,” Sheriff O’Neill said. “He and Deputy Hughes seemed to be doing very well.
As all of Jefferson County’s current sheriff’s K9s are named after former sheriffs, Sheriff Lafferty shared that he was humbled when asked if a K9 could be named after him after serving in the forces of the order for more than four decades.
“To have a dog named after me, I’m so glad the sheriff named the dog after me, the name continues,” Sheriff Lafferty said. “The K9 handler has a wonderful partner with this dog right now.”
But Deputy Hughes said the ‘real training starts now’ as K9 Lafferty is trained for many scenarios such as identifying narcotics, locating individuals and protecting his handler and other personnel responsible for law enforcement.
Deputy Hughes continued and expressed what an honor it was to continue Sheriff Lafferty’s legacy with his new partner.
“To sit here today is incredibly exciting and humbling,” Deputy Hughes said. “Like I said earlier, it’s the best job in law enforcement and the best job in the world, I think being a K9 handler.”