Newest 1-name celebrity bolsters Edmonds PD

By Paul Archipley | Oct 31, 2013
Hobbs and his new partner, Officer Jason Robinson, are busy with intensive training over the next several weeks before going on regular duty for the Edmonds Police Department.

Like some other, better known celebrities – think Bono and Cher – Hobbs only needs one name.

But the furry fellow will be better known soon enough – at least among the less upstanding members of the community – when he takes to the streets with his partner in the Edmonds Police Department.

Thanks to the efforts of the Edmonds Police Foundation, Hobbs is the newest member of the police department’s K9 unit.

The foundation turned over a check for $9,231 this week to purchase Hobbs, a 16-month-old German shepherd that a breeder brought to the U.S. from Germany.

According to Assistant Police Chief Jim Lawless, Hobbs went through basic training before shipping over. That foundational work included tracking and obedience, and prepared Hobbs for more intensive training here.

He is now undergoing 390 hours of supervised master training with his handler, Officer Jason Robinson. Residents may spot the team as they train throughout the greater Edmonds area.

“The purpose is to develop the team aspect so that both the handler and the dog get used to working in different conditions and different areas,” Lawless said.

Hobbs and Robinson join the department’s other K9 team, Kira and Shane Hawley, which has been operating alone since Dash’s retirement last July.

Hobbs will have some big paws to fill; Dash was awarded the Medal of Valor in 2007 for tackling a suspect who was shooting at his partner, Cpl. Josh McClure. Cpl. McClure was named Edmonds Police Officer of the Year.

Like Kira, Hobbs specializes in tracking and searching, rather than narcotics.

The two K9 units bolster a regional presence of police and dog teams from numerous law enforcement agencies. Typically, K9 units are sent across city boundaries as needed, Lawless said.

So, for example, if none of Lynnwood’s four K9 units was available, Kira or Hobbs would be ready to spring into action for that police department.

Hobbs’ acquisition was made possible by an intensive fund-raising campaign by the police foundation.

“Our mission is to support the police department where they need it,” foundation treasurer Don Eager said.

“They may have some goals that simply aren’t in the budget.”

The foundation sold nearly 500 toy police dogs in the recent campaign; just a handful of the collectibles remain, and are for sale at the Edmonds-Westgate Veterinary Hospital at 700 Edmonds Way.

Past foundation campaigns included the purchase of a police car to accommodate Dash, as well as a variety of equipment needed by officers and detectives.

According to foundation president David Jones, their biggest activity each year is sponsoring Edmonds Night Out, which this year took place in July.

Loosely affiliated with National Night Out, the Edmonds event “is a way to bring the community and police closer together,” Jones said.

With a focus on public safety, Edmonds Night Out includes not only the police, but fire department personnel and equipment, the Red Cross, various military units, and a variety of activities including, of course, K9 demonstrations.

“Whole families come to it,” Police Chief Al Compaan said. “It has been very successful for our public safety focus.”

Readers interested in knowing more about the foundation can visit their website at www.edmondspolicefoundation.org.

Meanwhile, keep an eye out for Hobbs, the newest one-name celebrity in Edmonds.

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