The Newport Beach Police Department has a new member: Kajo the canine, officials announced this week.
“NBPD is proud to introduce the newest member of the NBPD family,” reads a community message sent out on June 29 about the police dog.
Kajo (pronounced “Kah-joe”) is originally from the Czech Republic, the NBPD message explains. He is a 16-month-old, 60-pound Belgian Malinois.
“The Malinois breed is known for being active, intelligent, friendly, protective, alert, and hard-working,” the memo states. “Note that these are also excellent traits in a human NBPD officer.”
He replaces Elko, who retired from service earlier this year.
Kajo is currently enrolled in a six-week K9 Academy Course with his handler and partner, Officer Todd Wilson, the announcement explains. Following graduation, the duo will complete two weeks of field training with other area canine handlers before they join the regular field deployment in Newport Beach.
The furry, four-legged officer already has a special tie to the Newport community.
Fundraising efforts by the Newport Harbor Elks Lodge and private donations by community members paid for his purchase and training, which usually cost thousands of dollars, according to the NBPD message.
“Kajo’s presence is not the product of taxpayer dollars or a city budget allocation,” the messages notes. “We are extremely grateful for the support of the Elks, our residents, and local business community members.”
The Elks raised and donated about $37,000 to help NBPD purchase and train two new police service dogs, the city of Newport Beach explained in a facebook announcement.
Kajo is the first dog purchased and trained with the donated funds. The second dog will be purchased after NBPD’s other current canine, Jardo, retires later this year, explained NBPD spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella.