Chief of Police
45 Center Street
Burlington, MA 01803
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Burlington Police K-9 Passes National Tracking Dog Exam
“Havoc” Aced His Test on Saturday
BURLINGTON — Police Chief Michael R. Kent is pleased to announce that the Burlington Police K-9, Havoc, has achieved national certification as a tracking dog after passing a vigorous exam on Saturday in Danvers.
“I am very proud of Havoc for passing his tracking exam,” Chief Kent said. “Rescue and suspect tracking are vital tasks of a police department, and it is an invaluable resource for us to have a K-9 who is proficient in both.”
Havoc, a 5 1/2 year old German Shepherd has been with the department for just under five years. He was born in the Republic of Slovakia, but was trained here in the United States.
Burlington Police Officer Joseph Papsedero is Havoc’s handler. Graduating from the Boston Police Department’s K-9 Academy in July 2010, Papsedero and Havoc comprise Burlington Police’s K-9 Unit. Papsedero is a 19-year veteran who has spent more than 9 years working with K-9 units. “I’m proud of the work Havoc puts in each and every day,” Papsedero said.
Havoc was already a state-certified tracking K-9, and he has now passed the difficult United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) “Patrol Dog 2” exam, which gives him national recognition.
To achieve certification in the USPCA, a team consisting of an officer and his/her K-9 must pass the exam at a regionally sanctioned USPCA trial, such as the one held on Saturday. At the trial, the K-9 must follow a track that is 150-300 yards in length and up to one hour old. A piece of evidence, such as a bullet casing, key, credit card, or other article is dropped along a path, creating a suspect track that the K-9 must find. At the end of the path, another piece of evidence is concealed and the K-9 must find it. A “cross track” or contamination track is also laid over parts of the suspect track to add to the level of difficulty for the K-9 to stay on the right track.
“Havoc is a fantastic partner and an excellent police K-9,” Papsedero said. “He really brought his A-game on Saturday, and we are all proud of him.”