Oakboro K-9 officers continue to shine with national recognition, certification

Published 1:55 pm Tuesday, March 14, 2023

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The Oakboro Police Department’s K-9 program continues to grow and now has garnered national recognition.

Recently, the Hometown Foundation Inc. in Cheshire, Connecticut, awarded $15,000 grants to K-9 units across the country.

Units submitted applications in January, with voting happening in February.

Joker and Oakboro Sgt. Jason Eschert finished second out of 20 programs in the nation in votes received (6,918 votes), earning the unit a $5,000 grant from Hometown Heroes.

The Oakboro pair finished just behind Pako and Officer John Hearn of Northampton Township in Pennsylvania (7,780) and well ahead of Dunking and Officer Michael Colantuono of Enfield PD in Connecticut.

The Hometown Foundation Police K-9 Program has donated 51 K-9 officer grants to law enforcement in 13 states since the program began in 2017.

Oakboro’s other K-9, Bane, recently passed his national certification through the United Police Work Dog Association.

According to Eschert, Bane is now certified in narcotics, article searches, tracking, building searches and apprehension.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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