NEWPORT, VERMONT — Chief Travis R. Bingham is pleased to announce that Officer Joshua Lillis and K-9 Ozzy were recently named the 2020 Team of the Year by the Vermont Police Canines Association.
The Newport Police K-9 Unit was deployed 153 times in 2020 for a variety of responses, from supporting the department’s de-escalation efforts to tracking suspects and aiding in investigations.
On multiple occasions, Ozzy’s presence at a scene supported officers’ attempts at de-escalation without the use of force by the K-9 Unit. The K-9 team responded to multiple incidents in which Ozzy’s presence helped to mitigate potential violence against officers. The K-9 Unit also played an instrumental role in interrupting and de-escalating violent incidents in progress.
Additionally, Ozzy supported the investigation of multiple armed robberies by tracking suspects and helping officers locate and charge them.
The K-9 Unit also was instrumental in removing dangerous drugs from the streets of Newport. During 2020, Ozzy helped officers locate 631 bags of heroin or fentanyl.
“I am tremendously proud of Officer Lillis and K-9 Ozzy’s award and accomplishments,” Chief Bingham said. “The hard work, training, and endless dedication by both of them have shown through the success they have had on patrol. Their reputation throughout our community and the state of Vermont is exceptional and they have set the bar high for what it takes to be an elite K-9 Team.”