MARTINSBURG, W. Va. (WDVM) – The Martinsburg Police Department is delighted to welcome its third K-9 to the police force. Patroller Dalton Condo and Ryker just completed their training last week and are delighted to be back in the community.

Ryker is a mix of German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois and has been training with Patrolman Condo at Shallow Creek Kennel in PA for the past 6 weeks. Ptl. Condo joined the Martinsburg Police Department about three years ago and was also part of the Special Response Team. He couldn’t hide his pride or enthusiasm when he explained that working with the K-9 unit had been his dream since he started with the department. Ptl. Condo also said he was extremely grateful that Chef George Swartwood chose him for this position.

Ptl. Condo and Ryker. Photo courtesy of the Martinsburg Police Department

“It was my main goal when I started here. It was what I wanted to do, what I intended to do ”, Ptl. Condo explained. “We’re going to be doing a lot of good things in the community with these K-9s.”

Ryker was bought by the department without the help of taxpayer money. Chief George Swartwood explained that Martinsburg City Council approved the $ 15,000 purchase from Ryker because the department used the money from the drug confiscation and seizure.

“How ironic that the dog, one of our best tools in this opioid fight, was bought with money from a drug dealer who was seized after the arrest and seizures,” said the Chief Swartwood.

Ryker and Ptl. Condo will join Atlas, Baf and their managers in the K-9 unit, making it the first time in over 10 years that a K-9 will be assigned to each patrol shift. The three K-9s will rotate three shifts, morning, day and night, with their managers to provide a 24/7 resource to agents and the community.

“K-9 Ryker is really helping us as a K-9 unit and on patrol as they downsize,” Ptl. Condo explained. “For example, he can search for buildings. He’s really good at finding smells, at detecting drugs, at tracking, he can pretty much see things that we can’t as humans, and he can detect them with his nose.

Ryker is heading for his first patrol shift starting this week, and Chief Swartwood says he is looking forward to bringing Ryker to schools to meet and greet everyone as well as have him protect and serve the town of Martinsburg just like his other officers do.


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