Cary’s K9 Unit Welcomes Newest Member Thanks to Contribution from Cary Couple
K9 Robby retires following seven years of service with the Town
CARY, NC – As one dog hangs up his collar, a new one joins the pack known as the Town of Cary’s K9 Unit thanks to a generous gift from Cary residents. Officially sworn in last night, K9 Lemm is a 15-month-old Belgain Malinois from Poland featuring a black-tan coat. His name follows a national trend of naming service dogs after fallen service men and women; K9 Lemm honors TSGT Joseph Lemm, a US Air Force Reserves Security Forces member killed in Afghanistan in 2015, the same year Lemm was born. K9 Lemm’s handler, Officer Phil Humphries, is a Reservist with the US Air Force Security Forces. Funding for K9 Lemm was made possible thanks to a generous gift of $7,500 by Richard and Judy Hendrickson of Cary. Mayfair Animal Hospital and Veterinary Specialty Hospital of Cary have committed to supporting veterinary services, often times free of charge, to all of Cary’s K9 dogs; all remaining costs are be covered in the Town’s annual budget.
“Lemm is one of the most impressive K9's we've had the pleasure to work with and he’ll certainly be a valuable asset to the Town going forward as we all work together to keep Cary one of the safest communities to live, work and raise a family,” said Captain Kevin Tingen, who oversees the K9 program. Tingen added that since in the most recent two years of reporting (2014 and 2015), K9s have responded to 1,032 calls for service.
The Hendrickson’s unexpected and unsolicited donation earlier this year was serendipitous as the Town was set to retire K9 Robby this year following five years of service with the Town. K9 Robby is a black and tan German Shepherd from the Czech Republic. Thanks to action taken by the Cary Town Council in October, Robby will retire effective immediately and stay with his handler and transition from a service dog to a member of the family.
Created in 2005, Cary’s K9 program is designed to enhance the high level of service provided by the Town’s nationally accredited police department. Cary’s first K9 team, then Master Officer Jeremy Burgin and a German Shepherd named Max, completed a rigorous 14-week training program together in June 2005. The team hit the streets together in 2005, and Cary’s K9 program has since expanded into a pack of three dogs, each with its own handler: K9 Chase and Officer Seth Everett; K9 Tayber and Officer Scott McInerny; and now K9 Lemm and Officer Phil Humphries. K9 Robby joins K9 Axel and K9 Max as members of the Town’s retired K9 Unit.
To request a K9 public appearance or demonstration, call (919) 319-4595, and for more general information, search “K9 Program” at www.townofcary.org.
Capt. Kevin Tingen, K9 Team Supervisor, (919) 319-4595
Carrie Roman, Public Information Specialist, (919) 481-5091
Deanna Hawkes, Deputy Public Information Officer, (919) 380-4240
K9 Lemm and Handler Phil Humphries
K9 Induction/Retirement Ceremony Video
A Day in the Life of a Cary K9