On Monday, February 1, 2021, Police Chief Bodenheimer recognized Wil, Police K-9 for his years of service with the Lake Alfred Police Department.
Police Chief Bodenheimer began by telling the story behind the name “Wil” – Robert “Bob” Williams. A vintage Mercedes Benz 560 Coupe was donated by Mr. Williams to the Police Department. The Department was able to sell enough chance tickets to reach its goal of $10,000.00. Mr. Williams only requested that we use some part of his name and agreed when we came up with “Wil”. Mr. Williams passed away several years ago happy that he had a part in our success. Attorney Johnny Hutchinson had the winning chance ticket for the car.
Purchase date: June 26, 2012, Metro-Dade K-9 Services Tony Guzman in Miami. Wil was picked from 6 canines that were shown to the police chief and Lakeland police department on that day. Lakeland was kind enough to let Chief Bodenheimer ride with them and transport “Wil” back to Lake Alfred for us. During the ride, the Chief of Lakeland called the Sgt. I was riding with and during the conversation, she was advised that they were bringing a K-9 back for LAPD. About 5 minutes later the Chief called back and asked why Lakeland PD was transporting a K-9 for LAPD. The chief was politely told that it was for Lake Alfred and not Los Angeles. Lakeland also brought back two dogs at the same time.
Officer Lopez was picked from the three officers that applied for the k-9 position and began school with Wil shortly thereafter. Officer Lopez received training in both street work and narcotics. Wil was a star from the beginning, and it showed when he began competing in the United States Police Canine Association Region 1 Field Trials and the United States Police Canine Association Southeast United States trials. Officer Lopez and Wil gathered 34 trophies and awards during these events with some of the top awards as follows:
- 2013 2nd Place – Top Dog -Narcotics
- 2014 1st Place – 2 Man Inter-Department Team
- 2015 1st Place – 2 Man Inter-Department Team
- 2015 Top Dual Team Patrol and Detector
- 2016 Top Dual Team Patrol and Detector
- 2018 3rd Place – Outdoor detector
- 2019 1st Place – Obedience and 3rd Place inter-Department
- 2020 2nd Place -Inter-Department Team
There have been many more top 10 awards during the team’s tenure with the department.
Ofc. Lopez and Wil have also been very successful working the streets of Lake Alfred in narcotic intervention and suspect apprehension. Since just October 2017, Wil has been deployed 324 times, 174 for narcotic detection and 150 for patrol work. The Lake Alfred Police Department has been very fortunate to have had the team of Officer Lopez and Wil during their almost 9 years together as a team.
Chief Bodenheimer continued and said as he has mentioned it takes a team many times and reiterated it takes a team to be successful. This team, without the help of the Lakeland Police Department K-9 Squad, numerous hours of help from fellow officers, and a family at home to help love both the K-9 and Officer Lopez, would not have been as successful.
He went on to say tonight, as we celebrate “Wil” as a successful Police K-9 partner we also wish him a happy retirement with many dog bones in his future.
Wil, we thank you for all your service to the City of Lake Alfred and its citizens.
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