A new full-time K-9 officer recently went to work at the Morton Police Department, with the department’s chief saying the new addition will hopefully be of assistance in any future drug-related calls.
“It helps us be a better resource to our east-end communities and … it just brings us a real enhancement to our policing capabilities,” said Morton Police Chief Roger Morningstar.
It had been about a year-long process to get Cpl. Chris Fulton and his K-9 partner Camo to the department — albeit a process with the full backing of the town’s city council and mayor, and one that brought a slew of partnerships from local entities and area law enforcement agencies.
“It’s really a lot of partnerships within the community and with other agencies that were able to make this happen,” said Morningstar.
A local vendor in town is donating dog food for Camo, he said. The Hillsboro Police Department in Oregon donated a Tahoe that has since been converted into a police K-9 vehicle. Camo himself was a donation to the department, said Morningstar.
Fulton, who was unavailable to speak with The Chronicle by press time, has previously worked with K-9 units. He has experience with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Way Police Department.
Fulton and Camo went through “refresher training” and were certified as partners through the state. Specific standards for officers and their four-legged partners are set forth by the Criminal Justice Training Commission, according to state law.
“As a condition of certification, each handler must ensure that the canine performs to a level that is deemed acceptable by the commission in the category for the team’s intended use,” reads state law.
Morningstar said having the two aboard will be of assistance in locating, rooting out and deterring drug activity in Morton and Mossyrock. Camo will likely be of assistance during such everyday occurrences such as traffic stops or building walk-throughs.
“Bringing in a drug dog allows us to further deter drug activity and target those that are bringing drugs into our community,” said Morningstar.