NEWPORT, Vermont— Chief Seth C. DiSanto is pleased to announce that Officer Josh Lillis and K-9 Ozzy of the Newport Police Department were recently recognized as the 2019 K-9 Tracking Team of the Year.
Officer Lillis and K-9 Ozzy were honored by the Vermont Canine Police Association on Friday, Feb. 21 at the Vermont Police Academy with the 2019 K-9 Tracking Team of the Year Award.
“I’m very proud of the accomplishment and happy to be recognized for this achievement,” Officer Lillis said.
The award recognizes the duo’s exceptional work tracking and apprehending criminal suspects and missing persons. Over the last year, the pair have had six successful tracks that led to the apprehensions of suspects attempting to elude arrest and missing persons.
“This award is a true testament to the endless hours and hard work put in by Officer Lillis and K-9 Ozzy to be proficient and successful in tracking,” said Lt. Travis Bingham. “We are proud of their accomplishments.”
Lt. Bingham was the Newport Police Department’s K-9 handler from 2006-2018, and has worked closely with both Officer Lillis and K-9 Ozzy.
Officer Lillis and K-9 Ozzy have been working together on the road for approximately one year. K-9 Ozzy is a two-year-old Belgian Malinois certified in both Patrol/Tracking and Narcotics Detection.
The Tracking team of the year is one of the many awards that is voted on by the Vermont Canine Police Association Committee members for K-9 teams in the states of Vermont and New Hampshire. There are approximately 50 K-9 teams that belong to the association.