New K-9 Officer Joins Fayette County, PA Drug Task Force

From by Marilyn Forbes, October 26, 2013

Fulfilling a dream to become a canine handler, Perryopolis Borough Police Corporal and Fayette County Drug Task Force Member Jason Hayes has a new partner, Mako, a 18-month-old Belgium Malinois.

“Ever since I was in the police academy I wanted to be a K-9 handler, but there is so much work involved and there aren’t a lot of positions open,” Hayes said.

Hayes has been with the Fayette Drug Task Force for several years, and last year the Perryopolis Police Department thought that the addition of a K-9 dog would be a great asset to the streets of the county, but the question was how could they raise the needed funding.

“We were looking to get donations and see how we could do it,” Hayes said.

But a generous donation from Dr. Charles and Alison Tucker of Rostraver Township made the reality of the K-9 occur much quicker, as the pair decided to donate the needed funding to acquire the dog for the task force and partner with Hayes.

 According to Alison Tucker, the dog was trained by Mike Garrow who owns and operates Garrow Canine training in Charleroi.  Garrow has trained numerous canines for police departments and organizations over the years.

“He (Hayes) had spoke of his other jobs and the dog was mentioned. My husband and I believe that you should not take from the community without giving back, and this was a way we could give back. It was something that we could do that we were honored to do.”

“The timing was perfect,” Hayes said of the acquisition of the funds from the Tuckers’ in the spring. “The funding became available, and Mako was available. It worked out perfectly.”

The pair began training at the Garrow facility in March, and Hayes needed to do some juggling with his busy schedule to make the training work.

“I went part time because of my schedule, so it took longer,” Hayes said, explaining that Mako had only basic training when they were paired so a lot of work was involved to get him up and ready. “He has been fantastic so far.”

Mako was recently certified in narcotics and will now be put to work when and where he is needed, working with Hayes on his shift in Perryopolis and throughout the county.

“He will go to whoever requests him,” Hayes said. “We’ve already been out.”

Hayes said that the pair now also will be starting patrol classes at Garrow’s, which will add even more training.

Hayes said that Mako is now a part of his family, sharing the home with wife Amber and their chocolate Lab Coco.

“He is such a good dog, and he has become part of my family,” Hayes said. “He knows when he has his vest on that its time to work but when his vest comes off, he’s just like any other dog.”

Tucker said that she and her husband couldn’t be more pleased that they were able to bring Mako to the county and to the area to help with narcotics searches and raids.

“With Mako out there, we believe it will be a little safer,” Tucker said. “He will help to make the kids safer, make the community safer, and keep Jason safe. Our police officers are out there every day, putting their lives on the line and they need all the help that they can get. This was just something that we could do and we were glad to do it.”

Mako also soon will receive his official badge and start his extended training in a few weeks.

To see a picture of Corporal Hayes and Macko, click the link below:


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