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New K-9 team on the job here

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There’s a new dog—and officer—in town.

OPP Cst. Adam Martin and his canine partner, “Mako,” arrived in Fort Frances two weeks ago—taking over the post left vacant in the K-9 unit here when Cst. Chris Halverson, along with “Briggs” and “Diesel,” relocated back in May.

“Cst. Halverson completed his duration and transferred down to southern Ontario,” explained local Community Safety Officer Cst. Guy Beaudry.

Cst. Martin, who has 10 years with the OPP, was working in the Tactics and Rescue unit in southern Ontario when he learned of the opening here.

He applied and was accepted into the K-9 program.

“K-9 was always my end goal,” Cst. Martin said, noting that prior to his time with the Tactics and Rescue unit, he worked in Marathon with the Emergency Response Team.

“That kind of got me looking towards K-9,” he remarked.

Cst. Martin began the K-9 program on June 6 and got “Mako” the same day.

“He’s a 21-month-old Dutch Shepherd,” he explained, noting he’s a general service dog that is trained in searching for missing, lost, or wanted people, as well as apprehension of dangerous suspects.

“He will be drug-trained, as well,” Cst. Martin added.

“That’s another course I have to do soon.”

Cst. Martin said the community won’t see any differences with the changeover.

“We’re doing the same thing, covering the same area,” he explained, noting there are three K-9 teams in the region that cover the whole northwest.

“It’s new to me and I like it,” he enthused. “So far there hasn’t been any calls.

“But I definitely do enjoy working with ‘Mako,’” Cst. Martin added.

“There’s different challenges every day with him.”

Cst. Martin also is settling into life here in Rainy River District.

“The town is nice,” he said. “And so far the people have been pretty welcoming to me.”

Hailing from Huron County in southwestern Ontario, Cst. Martin always had planned to go north.

“When I got on, I was really young and they sent me to my home county, which was both a good and bad thing,” he admitted.

“Right off the bat, my coach officer pushed me to go north and then I ended up going to Marathon.”

After returning to southern Ontario to be a part of the Tactics and Rescue unit, Cst. Martin is pleased to be in the district as part of the K-9 unit.

He only had visited Fort Frances a few times for calls prior to taking the position here.

“So I’m fairly new to this side of the province,” he conceded, though adding he enjoys hunting and fishing so he thinks he’s in the right place.

He expects to live here for at least five years. And he’s looking forward to the work ahead.

“He assists the other OPP officers on day-to-day operations,” Cst. Beaudry noted. “He’ll go to calls with the road officers, go to calls and back them up.

“It’s not like you’re sitting around all day waiting.”

Cst. Martin said some people have asked him about the green uniform, but it’s just the K-9 unit’s new attire.

He will spend the next few weeks getting to know the district and the community.

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