Robert Hardwick, Chief of the St Augustine Beach Police Department, tells local Historic City News reporters that it is never too early to teach children that police officers are here to help them.
K-9 officer Kilo is a working police dog whose duties include search and rescue. His training allows him to assist police and other law-enforcement personnel in their work. Specifically, the department uses Kilo to locate suspects or find missing people or objects. Other police dogs are trained as detection dogs, used to detect drugs or explosives which may be carried on a person; or, as arson or cadaver dogs.
Kilo has a loud bark; but, according to his handler Corporal Bruce Cline, the pair work as a team. And, Cline says, when it’s time to be stealth, Kilo can remain perfectly still and silent.
Cristiano Ruiz of Jacksonville has a “man crush” right now on law enforcement, his mother, Mary Roboch, told Historic City News. Cristiano and Mary come to St Augustine regularly because they have a lot of family here.
On a recent visit, Corporal Cline and Kilo met Cristiano and Mikayla, a friend of Cristiano’s mother, while the crime-fighting duo were on patrol. Cristiano often pretends to be a policeman and he enjoys approaching officers just to say, “hi”.
Cline was not on a call, so he took a few minutes to introduce Cristiano to his K-9 partner. Cline talked to Cristiano about what it is like to work with a special dog like Kilo. “Officer Cline was very patient with Cristiano and was more than happy to talk to him,” Cristiano’s mother, told our editor, Michael Gold.
Administrative Lieutenant Kathi M. Harrell told Historic City News that there were no special circumstances, or call for service, that brought the two together. She said that the department just likes to interact with members of the community and they are particularly proud of their K-9 officer.
Chief Hardwick said that teaching moments like this were exactly what he had in mind when the department adopted “Kilo” stuffed animals, to be given as a memento of such occasions.
“That’s my handsome boy, he has slept with the dog every night since it was given to him,” Mary said earlier today. “He says it’s watching out for monsters.”