BILLERICA — Chief Roy Frost is pleased to report that the Billerica Police department has added a second K-9 unit to the department.
Officer Ryan Koles was selected to be the Billerica Police Department’s newest K-9 handler after participating in a selection process that included a physical fitness test, a report review, and an interview panel that included members of the Connecticut state Police K-9 Training Unit and the Massachusetts Environmental Police K-9 Unit.
Koles will now be partnered with a black Labrador retriever that was donated to Billerica Police as a puppy by Foxbend Labs, of Hillsborough, New Hampshire.
The K-9 has been named Cassius White, in honor and recognition of the first known Billerica Police officer to give his life in the line of duty.
White was an 18-year veteran of Billerica Police who was killed in 1936 when he was struck by a drunken driver while assisting Massachusetts State Troopers with a motor vehicle stop on Boston Road near Billerica Center.
The K-9, Cassius White, was initially raised and trained by Sgt. Rocco Magliozzi, who is an experienced Billerica Police K-9 officer. Upon Koles being selected to be Cassius White’s new handler, both Koles and Cassius White attended the Connecticut State Police K-9 Training Academy, graduating on June 23.
Koles and Cassius White have received training in tracking, and intend to pursue additional training in search and rescue and human remains detection.
Officer Koles and Cassius White now join the department’s existing K-9 team, Sgt. Magliozzi and K-9 Skye, another Labrador.
“Our K-9 program is highly regarded in the region for its years of successful tracks, apprehensions and community engagement,” said Chief Frost. “I am confident that Officer Koles and his partner Cassius White will continue to build on that tradition as they begin working in the community along with Sgt. Magliozzi and K-9 Skye.”