City police’s newest K-9 team introduced at council meeting

The City of Cortland Police Department's newest K-9 team: Officer Alexander Perkins and his K-9 partner Max. (Photo provided by Shallow Creek Kennels in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania).

The City of Cortland Police Department’s new K-9 team was introduced at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting.

Earlier this summer, officer Alexander Perkins was selected to train with his new K-9 partner Max at Shallow Creek Kennels in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania. Max, a Belgian malinois shepherd mix, is a year and a four months old.

“I’m super grateful to be here and have Max with me,” Perkins said at Tuesday’s meeting. “It means the world to me.”

Perkins and Max spent six weeks training at Shallow Creek Kennels, graduating in late July. Perkins noted on Tuesday that he and Max trained in narcotics, and control functions for apprehension, article searching and more.

The city police department now has two K-9 teams. The other team, which is officer Krysten Drake and her K-9 partner Kort, joined the department during the summer of 2022.

City police chief Paul Sandy said that Cortland County now has a total of four K-9 teams, which includes two in the Cortland County Sheriff’s Department. This means the county will have 24/7 K-9 protection, Sandy added.

“We appreciate you stepping up and taking responsibility. It’s great to have another K-9 team,” City mayor Scott Steve said to Perkins on Tuesday.

Perkins said on Tuesday that he and Max are training with other K-9 teams from counties and working towards certifications in New York state. The goal, Perkins said, is for him and Max to be on patrol by next week.

Perkins mentioned that he speaks to Max in Dutch. For example, Perkins said, he is able to say “stop” in Dutch as opposed to others saying “stop” in English.

“(Perkins is) a very aggressive officer, which is what you want a K-9 to be,” Sandy said of Perkins in the past. “(Perkins and Max) make a good pair.”