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FIRST ON 3: WPD adds first female K-9 officer

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WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE) -- The Wilmington Police Department is proud to announce the selection of Officer Kendall Murphy as the first female K-9 officer in the department's history.

Officer Murphy started at the WPD as a Police Cadet in November 2005. She then went through Basic Law Enforcement Training through the WPD's Police Academy starting in February 2008 and was "sworn in" on June 29, 2008.

Kendall has been in the Patrol Division for the past five years until her selection, amidst tough competition with her peers, for a slot in the K-9 Unit. The WPD K-9 Unit has been in constant operation with a variety of dogs for the past 20 years, including such famous K-9’s as Bronco, Jeecho and Arko.

Following in their paw prints is Kendall’s new partner, K-9 Diablo, a German Shepherd originally from Europe.

Sergeant Kevin Johnson, the K-9 Unit Supervisor, said it is normal procedure to assign a new handler to a new K-9 so that both the handler and the dog learn together and form the bond together that makes a truly effective law enforcement team. Being chosen for a K-9 position is not only a competitive process, it entails a huge commitment from the officer.

Kendall, as an example, had to relocate from her apartment into a house with a fenced back yard since Diablo stays with his handler 24/7. According to Kendall, Diablo is fantastic to work with and is learning very quickly, especially in basic movement commands. The WPD looks forward to a long and successful career for both Officer Murphy and K-9 Diablo.

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