K9 Nash joins Bristol Police Department

K9Nash

K9 Nash, a German shorthair pointer trained in narcotics detection, has joined the Bristol Tennessee Police Department as Sgt. Joe Newman’s newest partner.

Nash began his life as a police canine with handler Adam Surface of the Seymour Police Department (SPD) in Seymour, Ind., and was trained and certified to detect marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine in 2020 before his first birthday. He has re-certified every year since.  When Detective Corporal Surface was promoted and transferred from the SPD’s K9 Unit, he began looking for a new home for Nash so the energetic dog could continue to work.

At the time, BTPD had just announced the retirement of K9 Scout, who served as Sgt. Newman’s previous partner for almost 8 years, and was in the market for a new police dog. Detective Corporal Surface agreed to donate Nash to the BTPD at no cost, resulting in a tremendous savings to local taxpayers.

“K9s have unique skills that make them valuable members of any law enforcement agency, but there is a significant financial cost to acquiring a dog that is well suited for police work and a significant time commitment to complete the required training,” said BTPD Chief Matt Austin. “We’re extremely fortunate that those within the Seymour Police Department made that initial investment and then allowed us to welcome Nash to our department. He and Sgt. Newman are still getting to know each other, but they’ve already demonstrated an amazing ability to work together that will serve this department and our community for many years.”

Sgt. Newman and Nash last week gained certification through the North American Police Work Dog Association to work as a narcotics detection team. They now patrol city streets together while on duty, often using their specialized skills during traffic stops, to conduct school visits as a drug deterrent, or during searches where illegal substances are suspected. After hours, Nash lives with Sgt. Newman and his family.

Sgt. Newman said Nash is extremely energetic, friendly, and loves to work. German Shorthair Pointers are typically bred as hunting dogs, he added, noting that Nash enjoys searching his surroundings and interacting with community members.

In addition to Sgt. Newman and Nash, the BTPD’s K9 Unit includes Lt. Matt Cousins and K9 Kai, who are trained in patrol and explosive detection, and Senior Patrol Officer Chesney Roark and K9 Sonny, who are trained at narcotics detection, article searches, and tracking.

Each of the K9 teams spend 16 hours or more a month training together and must be recertified through the NAPWDA each year.