By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Enid Police Department Officer Robert McFadden will become the department’s next K-9 handler.
McFadden, a six-year veteran of the force, said he was excited for the opportunity that the job offers and was ready to take the next step in his career.
Officer Justin Lamle’s canine, Thor, was retired in December of last year and he was transferred to the department’s Patrol Division. Officer Chase Bouziden left the department when he took a job outside of Enid earlier this year in the oil field industry.
That left an immediate opening for another K-9 handler. Several officers were interviewed for the position before a final decision was made.
“There was some good competition,” McFadden said. “I figured they are all really good officers. I’m glad I didn’t have to make the choice.”
McFadden joined EPD following his service in the Air Force from 1997 to 2001.
“It just seemed like this was the next step in my career,” he said. “I spent five years in patrol and one year in traffic. I was ready to get on with something new.”
Policing must be in McFadden’s blood. His great grandfather, Earl Hoover, was an Enid Police Department officer. His grandfather, Dennis McFadden, was a retired EPD captain, and Dennis’ brother, Pat McFadden, was a Garfield County Sheriff.
“My dad is a retired detective, Danny McFadden,” he said. His brother, James McFadden, also is an EPD officer.
McFadden said he was on vacation about two weeks ago when he got the call telling him he’d be the next department K-9 officer. He said he wasn’t the only one in his family pleased with the news.
“My daughter is excited about it,” he said. “She loves dogs. She thinks it’ll be cool.”
McFadden already has two dogs, both mixed-breed German shepherds.
McFadden will begin his duties as a K-9 officer in late August or early September. His partner, Anakin, will stay with him and the two will spend McFadden’s remaining time in the Traffic Division bonding before they officially begin training together as a team.
“I’m looking forward to the chance to do something different,” McFadden said. “Go out and start taking drugs off the street. Go out and do some public-relations work. We do a lot of that because everyone loves the dogs.
“Doing this, I get to be a good asset for the community.”