McMinnville Police Department has added a second canine in its fight against illegal drugs.
“This is Kane,” said McMinnville Police officer Joseph Butler of the German Shepherd. “Being a K-9 handler is something I’ve always wanted to do since I began in law enforcement. When the department opened up applications for it, I applied.”
Butler has been with McMinnville Police Department since March 2017. For the last several weeks, he has been training to be the canine’s partner.
“We completed certification at the beginning of this week. We’ve been out on the road together since Wednesday. Other than having to take care of him throughout the day, my routine really hasn’t changed. I like having him with me. He’s great. I just have to stay out of the way and let him work.”
Kane joins Axel, a Belgian Shepherd purchased in 2020. Axel’s original handler was police detective Eddie Colwell, who was promoted to detective sergeant. Axel is now with officer Jay Hutchings.
“Since I’ve become a police officer, this is something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Hutchings. “What really opened my eyes to it was going to an interdiction school for K-9 handlers with Butler. We got to see how they handled their dogs and how successful it is. I’m thankful for the city giving me this opportunity.”
According to Colwell, Axel has proven to be a valuable asset to the department and was instrumental in the arrest of Dustin Ray McKillip, 37, in September.
“I was called in to run Axel on a car McKillip was stopped in,” said Colwell. “I got a hit from Axel. That hit allowed us probable cause to search the vehicle. We found a little bit of paraphernalia and a gun. Being a convicted felon, he now faces federal charges for possession of a weapon.”
McKillip also faces charges related to two stolen pickups and a stolen camper. He was allegedly living in the camper on Underwood Road at the time of his arrest.
“I’m sure Kane will also be a valuable asset to the department,” said Colwell. “On his first day, he was called to a routine traffic stop. He hit. Drugs were found during a search of the vehicle. I can’t go much into that case at this time, but Kane was hard at work on his first day.”