Mandan PD welcomes new K9, first female handler

Mandan PD welcomes new K9 and first female handler
Mandan PD welcomes new K9 and first female handler(KFYR)
Published: Aug. 20, 2020 at 12:23 PM CDT
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MANDAN, N.D. (KFYR) - The Mandan Police Department has welcomed a new K9 team to its force.

Officer Makayla Westgard told me it's always been a dream of hers to become a K9 officer.

Not only did she achieve her goal, but she is also the first female K9 handler for the Mandan Police Department.

This team has only been on patrol for a few weeks.

“We’ve done a search on a vehicle already, but it’s been slow moving. I’ve been trying to train with him if we’re not doing anything just to keep the mentality of lets work, let’s work, this is fun,” said Westgard.

Westgard and Medve were teamed up in Pennsylvania where they went through six weeks of high-intensity training.

“I was fortunate enough to know what my K9 looked like and what his name was. So when they gave us the tour around the kennel, I saw him in the kennel, and I got really excited,” said Westgard.

Medve is trained to detect narcotics, track evidence and apprehend suspects.

“He knows what he is doing. I’m the one learning from him, I’m the step behind. I need to be the one catching up,” said Westgard.

When not patrolling the streets of Mandan, he has found a new home with Westgard.

“He’s a little rambunctious around the house. I don’t know if he’s ever been in the house before, so it’s new to him and it’s new to me,” said Westgard.

Medve has made a new friend on the path to becoming a police dog.

“She gets pretty jealous when he gets to come to work with me, and will try to jump into the patrol vehicle with me, and I have tell her, ‘no,‘” said Westgard.

As they continue to work side-by-side, ”I think we’re closer now than since when we first started,” said Westgard.

Their bond will continue to grow as they protect the city of Mandan.

With the addition of Medve, Westgard was moved to second shift to ensure there will always be a K9 on duty in Mandan.

The team will join Officer Scott Warzecha and K9 Kupper.

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