The Ocean City Police Department has a new duo on the K-9 Unit, welcoming Police Officer First Class (Pfc.) James Runkles and partner, K-9 Breki.   Breki, who was obtained by the department with narcotics forfeiture funds, joins an elite group of canine patrol teams, which are an integral part of the Ocean City Police Department.

Breki, who is a 15-month-old Belgium Malinois, comes to the Ocean City Police Department from the Slovakia, where he received specialized training for law enforcement.  In addition, after his arrival in Ocean City, Pfc. Runkles and Breki completed a four-week academy-styled patrol/narcotics program, which develops the capabilities and physical conditioning of both the handler and K-9 alike.  At the completion of their training, they were certified to Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission and the North American Police Work Dog Association standards.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to use forfeiture funds to obtain such a wonderful asset to our department,” said Chief Bernadette DiPino.  “This unit has been a vital part of the OCPD for more than four decades and I am glad that we can utilize funds taken from criminal activity in a way that benefits our police department and our community.”

Once on patrol, K-9 patrol teams are authorized to respond to calls for service, and are often among the first specialized units to be called to a scene.  Their specific skills, including apprehension techniques, obedience, narcotics detection, searching and tracking, are a critical asset to the Ocean City Police Department. In addition to their duties and responsibilities on the road, K-9 units participate in continual training, community events and public relations functions, self-initiated patrol and/or rendering assistance to state and county law enforcement patrols in the Ocean City area.