Gresham Police Dept

On Monday, Jan. 29, one of Gresham Police Department’s (GPD) longest serving K9s, Recon, formally retired.

Recon began his career in Gresham in spring 2015 and worked his last shift in fall 2023. He worked with two handlers during his tenure, first with Officer Jason Justus and later with Officer Jarred Hansen. In 2017 he became a dual-purpose canine, utilized in both patrol operations and narcotics detection. Alongside his handlers, Recon worked to protect and serve his community and the surrounding area, capturing suspects and helping ensure community safety. 

Over the course of his career, Recon assisted with more than 140 captures and more than 500 surrenders. Recon can look forward to a well-earned retirement and will be staying in the Gresham Police Department family. He has formally been adopted by Officer Ralph Godfrey and his family. 

As Recon continues to enjoy his favorite activities, and extra-long naps, a new K9 named Leni has begun her training. Leni is a 2-year-old German Shephard, partnered with Officer Hansen. She will be certified for patrol work by March and ready to show off her skills for the 2024 Tagg’s Dog Days of Summer.

Police K9s initially undergo rigorous training to learn their jobs, bond with their handlers, and prepare for numerous situations they are likely to encounter. They develop an especially strong working relationship with their handler and learn to respond quickly to all commands. Obedience is the foundation of their training and critical for a successful career. As their career advances, they connect with other K9s throughout the region and continue weekly training until they retire.

K9s are an essential resource for the Gresham Police Department and the community. Because their sense of smell is dramatically stronger than their human counterparts, they can often reduce risk by alerting officers to danger long before a human can. Police dogs are bred to interface and work closely with humans, reading body and hand signals as well as sensing potential danger. Their presence can help deescalate a situation and they provide a variety of specialized skills, including detection, apprehension, and search and rescue.

A vital part of the police family, K9s are also part of their handler's family. Living with their handler helps cultivate a special partnership. Spending a great deal of time together, handlers develop the ability to read their K9’s body language, which is critical to their working relationship.

Like their human partners, K9s put their lives on the line every time they are dispatched. Gresham is fortunate to have a K9 program to support the work of Gresham Police Department and protect those who call Gresham home. 

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