March 5, 2009
A sergeant and a trooper with the Vermont State Police Williston barracks recently received awards from the Vermont Police Canine Association for their work in 2008.
Sgt. Michelle LeBlanc, pictured above with her dog Casko, recently received the Handler of the Year award.
Sgt. Moe Lamothe received the Lifesaving Award, and Trooper Michelle LeBlanc received the Handler of the Year award.
Sgt. Lamothe’s award was “for doing a lifesaving track of a suicidal subject who shot himself in the stomach and was bleeding badly” when he was found, according to police.
LeBlanc’s award was for “exhibiting outstanding overall skills as a K-9 team and having numerous tracking finds and numerous drug finds, and showing consistency and dedication towards the K-9 program throughout the year,” according to police.
“Casko and I have only been a team since Nov. 2005. In this time, we have won two K-9 tracking team of the year awards in 2006 and 2007, a dedicated service award in 2007, and now only the 4th State Police Team to win the K-9 Team of the year award for 2008,” LeBlanc wrote in an e-mail to the Observer. “This is quite an accomplishment and I am very proud of my K-9 partner. Casko amazes me each and every day with his incredible drive to work and track people, locate illegal drugs and protect me and others.”
The Vermont Police Canine Association, or VPCA, was formed in 2000 with the primary purpose of assisting with the development of certified Police Canine Teams by supporting the teams with additional training, equipment and special needs assistance, according to VPCA president David Dewey.
“The ultimate goal is to enhance the high quality of service currently provided by certified Police Canine Teams to the citizens and visitors of the State of Vermont,” Dewey noted in a press release.