K-9 Officer Michael Westcott, a lifelong resident of Southwick, has been employed with the Southwick Police Department since 2006 at which time he began his career as a Reserve Police officer before being appointed as a full-time police officer in 2009.
Before his journey as a police officer, Officer Westcott served the Town of Southwick with the Southwick Fire Department as a fire fighter/EMT for 11 years.
Officer Westcott was assigned as the department medical training officer for several years before being appointed as our department’s latest K-9 officer
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 making his way 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 referred to as a Dual-Purpose K-9 which means he is trained in several different areas.
K-9 General was 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 minimum of 16 hours of maintenance training each and every month alongside other K-9 teams from all the surrounding cities and towns.
Southwick Police Department Retired K-9(s)
Service date(s) August/2001 – May/2007
Officer Joseph Brewer and K-9 “Thom” served the Southwick Police Department as the department’s very first K-9 unit. Officer Brewer and K-9 “Thom” began their tour in August of 2001 to May of 2007.
During their time here, Officer Brewer and K-9 “Thom” assisted with rescue efforts at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks. K-9 “Thom” passed away in the fall of 2009.
Service Date(s) May 2007 – August 2017
Sgt. Thomas Krutka and K-9 “Jax” took over the role of the department K-9 Unit after the retirement of K-9 “Thom”. During their time together which went on for an amazing 10 years of service, Sgt. Krutka and K-9 “Jax’ had numerous successful accomplishments including a narcotics search that yielded over 1.2 Million dollars in cash.
K-9 “Jax” retired in the spring of 2017 at the age of 12 years old. K-9 “Jax” passed away a year later in August of 2018 of cancer.