Meet Our New K9 - Dixon

K9 POLICE DOG “Dixon” joins Castle Shannon Police DepartmentIntroduction Ceremony to be held at Borough Council Meeting - Monday, February 12, 2018 at 7:00 PM.

Castle Shannon, PA  –

The Castle Shannon Police Department welcomed their newest police cadet to the force with an initial deployment on January 28, 2018.

“Dixon” -Badge Number 737, who will be joined by his police officer handler, Officer Justin Majors, re-establishes a K9 unit in the Borough.

Prior handler/K9 teams who have since retired their K9 partners include: Officer Thomas Yonek/”Xato”, Officer Jeff Recker/”Nitro” and  Sgt James Fleckenstein/”Riad”. Riad, the last K9 retired in 2016.

“K9 police units help to prevent crime, keep communities safe, and add tremendous value to police departments. They are critical to police work in small towns, where the number of sworn officers on duty is small and the areas to be covered are spread out. K9 police teams are also important in strengthening the relationship between police departments and the community they protect and serve.”, said Police Chief Ken Truver.

Police handlers are trained to work with their K-9 partners and provide for the care and feeding of their partners when they are off-duty.

The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation and the Allegheny District Attorney Stephen Zappala each provided a $10,000 grant to support the K-9 unit, which is intended to cover initial acquisition and training costs of the dog and related equipment. These grants were supplemented by a $4000 grant from local residents and business owners Tim and Diane Pawlak.

As full time officers, the K9 units are a valuable asset to any size police department with their ability to track missing persons and suspects, search and clear buildings, assist other officers and locate narcotics. Search grids that would normally involve a dozen officers can be narrowed and completed quickly by a single dog - saving departments time, money and manpower. K9s also protect officers through deterrence, as even the most determined criminals are uneasy about resisting apprehension by a well-trained patrol dog.

Officer Justin Majors has been with the Castle Shannon Police Department since April 2013. He previously worked for McDonald and Ohioville Police Departments. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Slippery Rock University and earned his Municipal Police certification from the Beaver County Community College Police Academy. His police training includes an elite narcotics training course sponsored by the PA State Police and hosted at the Northeast Counter Drug Training Center in Fort Indiantown Gap. He is a Task Force Officer for the  PA Attorney General’s Office and is a member of the PA Narcotics Officers Association.

K9 “Dixon” is a German Shepherd and was born 10-20-16 in the Czech Republic. He was acquired by Shallow Creek Kennels - Sharpsville , PA  in November 2017 and spent approximately 6 weeks in training before he was selected by Officer Majors. The team spent another 6 weeks training at Shallow Creek . “Dixon is training in Narcotics and Patrol Utility, which includes tracking, locating and apprehension of criminals.

Historically, K9s, which are typically German Shepherds, Dutch Shepherds or Belgian Malinois, participate in training programs ranging from 8-14 weeks where the dog and handler learn to work as a team in crucial areas of specialty police work. Both the handlers and K9 police dogs are prepared to be on-call around the clock whenever their services are needed.

The K9 team will be introduced to the community in a brief ceremony at the Castle Shannon Borough Council Meeting

Monday, February 12, 2018 at 7 PM.

Media is invited.

Chief Truver added, “We are thrilled to welcome “Dixon” and to add this utility as yet another force multiplier, to protect the residents and businesses in the Borough of Castle Shannon. We are grateful to the Roethlisberger Foundation, the District Attorney and the Pawlaks for their contributions and support, and to Officer Majors for taking on this awesome responsibility”