The Evesham Police Department K9 Unit was established in 2000 with the purchase of 3 police canines from Holland. The 3 original officers were Ptl. Matt Divito, Ptl. Joseph Friel, and Ptl. Thomas Reinholt. These officers attended New Castle County Police Dept K9 Academy from Sept 2000 to April 2001. All three officers graduated from the K9 academy in April 2001 with their new K9 partners, K9 Aggo (Divito), K9 Justice (Friel), and K9 Luke (Reinholt). All three canines were trained dual purpose and began patrolling the streets of Evesham soon after. K9 Justice and K9 Luke were dual trained in narcotics/patrol and K9 Aggo was bomb/patrol. In 2003 a fourth canine was added to the unit and Ptl. Marc Scambia was assigned as the handler. In 2004, Ptl. Scambia and K9 Dyos graduated from the New Castle County Police Department K9 Academy as a narcotics/patrol canine team. These original 4 canine teams had an immediate impact in the fight against crime. K9 Justice apprehended a burglary suspect who ran from the WaWa on Marlton Pike after attempting to break into the ATM. K9 Aggo apprehended two burglary suspects, that had run from a residence, after tracking them thru the sod fields in Lumberton and K9 Luke apprehended a burglary suspect who had run from police in Mt.Holly.
In 2006, the Evesham Police K9 Unit added Ptl. Tom Campbell and K9 Angus. Ptl. Campbell and K9 Angus were originally with the Palmyra Police Department and graduated from the Dover Twp Police Department K9 Academy. In 2006 the K9 Unit also replaced two of the original canines. Sgt Reinholt/K9 Luke retired and were replaced by Ptl. Ryan Bourdon and K9 Hondo. Cpl. Friel/K9 Justice were replaced by Ptl. Rich Hernandez and K9 Elias. The two canines retired due to age and stayed with their former handlers and their families. K9 Hondo and K9 Elias both graduated from the New Castle County Police Dept K9 Academy as dual purpose K9 teams in narcotics/patrol in July 2006.
Ptl. Bourdon and K9 Hondo were also members of the Evesham Police Special Response Team and received advanced training in K-9 and SWAT inter-deployment. They were deployed during all operations involving Evesham Police SRT. On one occasion, K9 Hondo was deployed as part of the Evesham SRT Team to locate an armed bank robbery suspect that was believed to have been hiding inside a retail store in Marlton. K9 Hondo searched the business and indicated the suspect was hiding in an open area above the ceiling. An announcement was given and the suspect surrendered peacefully.
K9 Elias recently apprehended two suspects that attempted to ignite a local gas station and propane tank on fire. K9 Elias conducted a track from the location and found the two suspects hiding in some bushes. After a physical struggle and K9 deployment, both suspects were apprehended and taken into custody.
In 2007, Ptl. Matt Divito and his new partner, K9 Bosco, graduated from the John Sonny Burke K9 Academy at the Atlantic City Police Dept. as a dual purpose bomb/patrol canine team. Ptl. Divito’s first partner, Aggo, had retired due to age. K9 Bosco made his presence felt almost immediately. Ptl. Divito and K9 Bosco assisted North Hanover Police Dept with an armed robbery that had just occurred. After a lengthy track thru the woods, both suspects were located hiding in the woods, still armed with a handgun. Upon seeing K9 Bosco coming towards them, both decided to surrender peacefully. Unfortunately, in 2009, K9 Bosco passed away suddenly. A few months later, Ptl. Divito started training his new partner, K9 Niko, at the John Sonny Burke K9 Academy. Ptl. Divito and K9 Niko graduated as a dual purpose narcotics/patrol canine team. K9 Niko started assisting the officers of Evesham Police Dept almost immediately. K9 Niko located a car burglary suspect hiding in the woods after a foot pursuit by Ptl. Divito and K9 Niko.
In 2011, Ptl. Dan Burdette and K9 Ciko graduated from the John Sonny Burke K9 Academy as a narcotics/patrol K9 team. Ptl. Burdette and K9 Ciko replaced Ptl. Scambia/K9 Dyos who retired due to age. K9 Ciko assisted Berlin Twp Police Dept with the apprehension of a burglary suspect who had run from them. Over the past 12 years, members of the Evesham Police Dept K9 Unit have assisted numerous local, county, state, and federal agencies with assignments ranging from missing person searches, dignitary protection, narcotic investigations, and high risk warrants. The K9 teams have assisted in the seizure of numerous cars, houses, and US currency since their inception and continue to this day. Over the past 2 years, the Evesham Police Dept K9 Unit has handled 385 calls for K9 assistance. The current members of the Evesham Police Dept K9 Unit are Cpl Ryan Bourdon/K9 Hondo, Ptl. Matt Divito(trainer)/K9 Niko, Ptl. Rich Hernandez/K9 Elias, and Ptl. Dan Burdette/K9 Ciko.