Shoreline's first K9 unit is on duty

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

King County Deputy Josh Holmes and his K9 partner Atom

Photos by Wayne Pridemore

King County Deputy Josh Holmes and his K9 partner Atom completed their 440 hours of training in mid-August and went on the job with the Shoreline Police department August 31, 2018.

On their first day of patrol they were called to an assist on a stolen vehicle call, where the female suspect had fled on foot. Atom began tracking and located the female suspect in the back yard of the house, hiding in a shed. She was arrested and booked into jail.

The primary use of dogs is to track a suspect who has committed a crime and run from a Shoreline officer. Before, without a dog on the force, officers had to hold a perimeter and wait for a K9 from Unincorporated King County, or an outside agency.

"The longer a perimeter is held," says Shoreline Chief Shawn Ledford, "the more difficult it is to make an arrest."

Atom is friendly with the public, well behaved and all business when he’s working. Here he greets Dennis Terpstra at the Echo Lake Neighborhood Association picnic.

Atom is the third dog to train as a member of the K9 unit. The first two did not work out.

Shoreline Police have been focusing on property crimes, burglaries and car prowls; the K9 unit will help with those efforts. Additionally the K9 will be used for building searches, as Atom is able to cover a larger area faster and more thoroughly than multiple officers.

He will also be used for evidence searches if a suspect hides a weapon or other evidence. In the future, Atom will be trained in narcotics detection.

Atom lives with Deputy Holmes and has become part of the family.

Deputy Holmes is a Shoreline native and a graduate of the Shoreline Public School District (Ridgecrest Elementary, Kellogg Middle School and Shorecrest High School). Deputy Holmes also attended Shoreline Community College. He is an 11 year law enforcement veteran.


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