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DRPS welcomes first female K-9 officer and PSD Kaos

Durham Regional Police have welcomed their first female officer to the K-9 unit.

D/Cst. Elkington joined DRPS in 2010 as a Youth in Policing student. She remained in the program for the next four years, running several initiatives as the program coordinator.

In 2014, she was hired by York Regional Police Service, but returned to DRPS as an experienced officer in 2016.

Elkington says she knew very early in her career that she wanted to become a K-9 handler. Over the past five years, she took advantage of every opportunity to be around DRPS’ eight K-9 handers, knowing that if she wanted a shot at the next opening, she would have to dedicate herself to becoming the best possible applicant.

Recognizing her passion and desire to learn, DRPS’ K-9 handlers provided her with encouragement, mentorship and development opportunities.

Elkington says pursuing her dream of becoming a K-9 handler has been about discipline, hard work, and dedication.

“It’s been about commitment to the small daily choices and never settlings; always chasing that one per cent improvement,” she says.

Her partner, Police Service Dog (PSD) Kaos, is a one-year-old Belgian Malinois who was bred in New Jersey and imported to Canada by Grassroots K-9. PSD Kaos completed 60 days of intensive training and is trained in tracking, criminal apprehension, handler protection, and evidence detection.

DRPS says Elkington and Kaos have already made an impact by successfully tracking a wanted party who was hiding from officers and locating a missing vulnerable person in distress.

She says one of the things she loves most about being a K-9 handler is the endless opportunity for growth.

“There will always be new concepts for my dog and I to learn and ways that we can develop as a team,” she says, adding, K-9 handlers are some of the “hardest working, most stubbornly dedicated people you will ever meet.”

“They are always willing to go that extra mile or search a little bit longer; that’s something I am very proud to be part of.”