Cadet Boone

K9 Cadet Boone stares at a green duck at the offices of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph during a visit on Wednesday. 

PRINCETON — The Princeton Police Department has welcomed a new officer in the form of a Labrador retriever.

With a wagging tail, K9 unit Boone is ready to hit the ground with four paws running. Since he’s just eight weeks old, town residents won’t see him out in action for some time yet.

Once Boone goes through his necessary training and officially begins his work on the force Patrolman W.W. McGuire will be his handler. Until then, Boone is living with McGuire learning the basics of dog training.

“Having a K9 unit has always been one of my main goals. I’ve been a police officer for over two years. I’m also on the SWAT team,” McGuire said.

The Princeton City Police Department has two K9 units, Trax and Taz, which some residents may have interacted with before. According to McGuire Trax, who is handled by Ptlm. J.A. Angle specializes in tracking while Taz, handled by Sgt. E.C. Nunn specializes in narcotics detection.

After his training Boone will be working in detecting explosives, firearms, as well as tracking.

“We will be well rounded once he’s fully trained and ready. We’ll have three K9 units that will make us complete with tracking, narcotics, and bomb detection,” Princeton Police Department Chief T.A. Gray said.

When the department began the search for a new K9 unit the original plan was to receive a german shepherd from the Marine Corps. After that plan fell through, McGuire and his fiance started searching their options.

After the couple contacted a breeder in West Virginia, a bright and bouncing labrador was donated to the department.

“This is something I’m really passionate about. I think it’s going to make me a better police officer and help me do more to benefit the city,” McGuire said.

So far Boone has mastered the art of sitting and is making more progress every day. He is also a master of walking on a leash.

When Boone has completed his training the three K9 units will be readily accessible through all shifts for emergencies. As of now a K9 unit with the Princeton City Police Department is always available to be called out.

With a long road of training ahead of him, Boone has a bright future in serving the city of Princeton. For now, he’s eagerly learning and playing to his heart’s content.

Contact Emily D. Coppola at ecoppola@bdtonline.com

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