K-9 Officer Michael Westcott, a lifelong resident of Southwick, has been employed with the Southwick Police Department since 2006 at which time he was appointed as a Reserve Police officer. In 2009, Officer Westcott was appointed as a full-time police officer. Before his journey as a police officer began, Officer Westcott served the Town of Southwick with the Southwick Fire Department as a fire fighter/EMT for 11 years.
K-9 Officer Mike Westcott was assigned as the department medical training officer for several years before being appointed as our department’s next K-9 officer. Sgt. Tom Krutka handed the reins down to Officer Westcott after stepping down as the department’s K-9 officer after the retirement of his partner, K-9 Jax in May of 2017. Sgt. Tom Krutka and K-9 Jax served the Town of Southwick as our department’s K-9 Unit for an amazing 10 years; May 2007 – May 2017.
K-9 Officer Westcott’s partner, K-9 General, is a German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix. K-9 General who was named after Jack Jeneral, a citizen of the Town of Southwick to whom donated the funds to purchase K-9 General. K-9 General was born and spent the first year of his life in Holland before being shipped to the states. From there, K-9 General’s journey landed him in Pennsylvania at the Shallow Creek Kennels where he was matched up with Officer Westcott.
K-9 Officer Westcott and K-9 General began their training in September of 2017. K-9 training takes approximately 8-12 weeks to complete. K-9 General is what we call a Dual-Purpose K-9 which means he is trained in several different areas. K-9 General will be trained in obedience, evidence recovery, tracking, apprehension and handler protection and of course, narcotics detection. Training does not stop there; K-9 Officer Westcott and K-9 General will participate in 16 hours of maintenance training each and every month alongside other K-9 teams from all the surrounding cities and towns.