Portland Police Department | 109 Middle Street | Portland, Maine 04101 | (207) 874-8479

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Portland Police K-9 Unit

Officer Zack Finley & Mako
as shown above
Officer Cole & Kaine
as shown above
Officer Stickney & Taz
as shown above
Officer Small & Quincy Officer Reagan and Trixie Officer Hawley & Atros

Tools of the Trade

In Training

The Portland Police Department's newest member of the K9 team has arrived. Mako, a pure bred German Shepard , arrived from his Connecticut home where he has been trained and cared for. Originally from Slovakia, Mako is one year old and seems to be settling in well. Described as calm and well mannered by his K9 partner, Officer Zach Finley, Mako is starting to acclimate to his new job and his new hours. Officer Finley works on an overnight team and has brought Mako to work starting the first day he arrived this month. Mako will be training right away to eventually be certified as a patrol dog. Mako seems, to everyone who is working and training with him, like a dog who has the temperament that strikes the balance of calm demeanor, but a strong drive to work. So far he is settling in well and we look forward to seeing him around Portland with Officer Finley!

The Portland Police Department currently utilizes six K-9 teams; each team is comprised of an officer and trained dog who respond to a multitude of circumstances. The dogs and officers go through a long training process together, and the department only utilizes “positive” training methods, often using toys as the incentive. Three teams are trained to do things like search for lost people, search for articles, do building and narcotic searches, and assist in suspect apprehension. They are important tools in crime suppression, and are on-call together 24 hours a day. The other three K-9 teams are trained in explosives and do much of their work at the Portland Jetport.  Training is an important part of this specialty.

Officer Michelle Cole and Kaine

Officer Michelle Cole is a 13 year veteran of the Portland Police Department. She has spent the last 10 years working explosive detection with her two K9s, Karla and Jake, who are both now retired and live with her family. Her focus is changing over to patrol and narcotics detection which she does with her new K9, Kaine.  Kaine is one and a half years old and was imported from Slovakia. He is training to be a dual -purpose dog which means he will work both patrol and narcotics. Kaine lives with Michelle and her family.

 

Officer Christian Stickney and Taz

Officer Stickney has been a Police Officer since 1993 and joined the Portland Police Department in 1995. K9 Taz is a sable male German Shepherd that was imported from Slovakia and was born in November of 2007. Taz and Officer Stickney became partners in January of 2009. They are certified in Narcotics Detection, Tracking, Article Searches, Building Searches, and Suspect Apprehension. It takes about 1000 hours training before you can certify in these jobs.

K9 Taz is very loyal to Officer Stickney and lives with his family. They are partnered together all the time. When not working K9 Taz and Officer Stickney love to exercise and go camping with their family.

Officer Reagan and Trixie

Officer Tom Reagan is graduate of Portland High School class of 1998. He is also graduate of Southern Maine Community College and the University of Southern Maine. Prior to being employed at the Portland Police department, Officer Reagan was employed at the Cumberland County Jail as a correctional officer. Tom joined the Portland Police Department in August 2005 and has worked as patrol officer until Oct. 2010 when he was chosen to attend the (TSA) National Explosive Detection Canine Team Program at Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio, Texas.

Officer Reagan trained in Texas for 10 weeks with his canine partner, Trixie. Trixie is a Belgian Malinois and German Shepard mix breed and was imported from the Netherlands by TSA. Trixie was born in January of 2009. Officer Reagan and his partner are assigned to the the day shift where they work as the multi module canine team. They are responsible for the bus station, train station and water front . Trixie is certified in the detection of a multitude of explosives. Trixie lives at home with Officer Reagan.

Officer Hawley & Atros

Picture & Bio coming soon....

Officer Small & Quincy

Bio coming soon....

Officer Zack Finley and Mako

Officer Zack Finley is Portland’s newest K9 officer. Officer Finley was selected after going through an in-depth selection process.  In preparation, Zack studied K9 case law, SOP's and made sure he was in good physical shape before the interviews. He has been attending weekly Law Enforcement Dogs of Maine training sessions to familiarize himself with the role of a K9 handler prior to getting his new partner.  During this time he has been learning about the care of the dog, how to initially train him, and the role he will play in Portland’s canine unit. In going to these sessions, he was able to see all the hard work and dedication it takes to be a K9 handler.

Zack grew up in Maine and graduated from Cheverus High School in 2000. After high school, he studied journalism at Fairfield University in Connecticut and worked as a dispatcher at PPD starting in April of 2005. Then in January of 2006, Zack went through the hiring process and was selected as an officer and went on to the 18 week police academy in Vassalboro. He has spent the majority of his 6 year career working the evening shifts in Portland. Zack became a Field Training Officer in March of 2009. Since then, he has trained 11 officers who have graduated from the academy. He has also been an important member of the department’s peer support team since 2008.  

The next step is for Zack to get his new dog and start to acclimate the dog to his new routine. Officer Finley's partner will likely be imported from Europe at which time he and several of the K9 Trainers will travel to a more local site and test multiple K9's.  The department will be looking for a calm, confident, and capable partner for Officer Finley.  Among other attributes, they will be testing the dog’s drive, temperament, and courage during the testing phase. 

Once the match is made, the new K9 will live with Officer Finley and the bond will begin.  He will then undergo extensive training to include 430 hours of patrol K9 training before he is eligible to take the State of Maine Patrol K9 test.  We hope you will see him soon out in his vehicle with his partner! Stay tuned for updates and pictures.

K9 Contacts:

Unit Supervisor:
Lt. Robert Doherty 874-8778  RobertD@portlandmaine.gov

Patrol Dogs and Handlers:
Trainer / Officer Christian Stickney K-9 Taz Christes@Portlandmaine.gov
Trainer / Officer Michelle Cole K-9 Kaine MichelleR@Portlandmaine.gov
Officer Zach Finley K-9 Mako ZachF@portlandmaine.gov

Explosive Detection Dogs and Handlers:
Officer Henry Small K-9 Quincy HWS@portlandmaine.gov
Officer Christopher Hawley K-9 Atros Chrish@portlandmaine.gov
Officer Thomas Reagan K-9 Trixie Thomasr@portlandmaine.gov

Photos by Kelly Watters : mudwat1973@yahoo.com