Help us here at Alaska Department of Corrections name our new K9 who will be doing drug detection after going to the K9 Academy!
He is a 16 month old male whose detection K9 work will be used to further Alaska Governor Bill Walker’s initiative to combat drugs in our State.
Please go to https://www.facebook.com/AlaskaDOC/ to give us your suggestions.
Congratulations to Prisoner Transportation Officer Lynn Hays and Drug Detection Dog Marley on their successful certification as the Alaska Department of Corrections first certified Drug Detection Team! They successfully completed an intensive AST Academy and were certified with the AST teams at the end of the course. Our team is now available to conduct official drug searches at our Facilities, Field Offices, Community Residential Centers, Prisoner Work sites or any other DOC area.
Canine Marley is trained to search areas. He will not be used to search people. Security staff will have to be present with the team for all searches. Marley is trained to sit, when he detects drugs! An onsite Correctional Officer or Probation Officer will conduct an actual search, secure the evidence, initiate the chain of custody and write the reports for possible disciplinary and/or criminal proceedings.
The addition of this team to our department brings a real boost to our capabilities in the area of drug suppression in our facilities and field offices. Lieutenant Jimmie Wallace is the supervisor and coordinator for all Detection Team duties. Again, a well-deserved congratulation to Officer Hays and Canine Marley!
Hiland Mountain Correctional Center will formally transfer its newest inmate-trained Service Dogs to wounded warriors on February 20th at 1 pm. Bella is a two-year old Black Labrador Retriever who was donated to HMCC as a puppy by a Mat-Su Valley breeder, Byers Peak Labradors. Maddie came to Hiland Mountain as an eight-week old puppy from the Mat-Su Animal Care Shelter. She was spotted by shelter staff for her intelligence and suitability to service dog training.
Bella will be paired with Aaron Willard, who lives in Fairbanks. In 2004 Willard received a commission from the U.S. Army and was stationed at Fort Wainwright with the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team. He quickly deployed to Iraq, where he was wounded twice, most seriously on the night of October 30, 2006. That’s when Willard and his patrol were ambushed by an explosive projectile, small arms and machine gun fire. As a result of the attack Willard was severely injured and spent three years recovering at Fort Wainwright before medically retiring in August, 2009.
Sgt. John S. Revilak, who is being paired with Maddie, joined the Army in 2004. In June 2007 John, who had been assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, was deployed to Afghanistan. On October 11th, 2007 his platoon was ambushed with an IED disabling the lead vehicle of 1st Platoon. Immediately, enemy forces opened up with a volley of RPGs and small arms fire. Revilak’s vehicle caught fire, forcing those inside to exit under heavy enemy fire.
The intensity of the exploding IED resulted in John sustaining a traumatic brain injury which left him in constant pain. Despite that, John remained with his unit for another year until he was reassigned to the San Diego Naval Hospital. John medically retired in February, 2011.
Bella and Maddie are the sixth and seventh service dog trained by inmate volunteers at Hiland Mountain.
Sophie, who has been in service dog training by inmates and staff for well over a year at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in Eagle River will be transferred to wounded soldier Captain Christopher Harrington at 11:30 am Friday, December 14, at HMCC.
Captain Harrington, originally from Antioch, California, enlisted in the Army in 1991 and completed nine years of enlisted active duty, earning the rank of Staff Sergeant, before receiving a commission as a Second Lieutenant from the California State University Sacramento and University of California Davis ROTC in 2004. Captain Harrington since has completed a Bachelor of Arts degree from CSU Sacramento and earned a Master’s of Public Administration from Webster University.
He has served in various engineer units both in the United States and overseas, as well as participate in several deployments to the Balkans, South Pacific Theater, and Middle East in support of humanitarian and combat operations. During combat operations in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, Captain Harrington served as a Leader of a Combat Engineer platoon in support of a Armor Company and as the Task Force Engineer in support of a Light Infantry Task Force, providing both a maneuver and maneuver support capability. While conducting cordon and search operations in December of 2006, Captain Harrington was wounded in an IED attack and then again in January 2007 was severely wounded by an indirect fire attack during clearing operations.
Chris remains on active duty and currently commands the Headquarters and Headquarters Company (Airborne), 6th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Airborne) at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. He is married to the former Teresa Martin of Antioch. They have two children, Carter (6) and Aiden (4).
The Wildwood Correctional Center Minimum Camp has started a dog program. The program was originally started by Hiland Mountain and has proven to be a very successful community partnership.
Wildwood Correctional Center has inaugurated a SPOT (Special Pet Obedience Training) program and its first dog is MILO, an Australian Shepherd. MILO will remain at the minimum camp and be the ambassador dog for the program, said Assistant Superintendent Shannon McCloud.
“Once training has begun and the inmate handlers understand the process, a dog from the local animal shelter will be placed at the facility, and when basic training is complete, the local pet shelter will work on placement of the dog with a family,” McCloud said. “So far the program has been positive therapy for inmates and staff. It is hoped that the program will grow in the future as more handlers are trained to work within the program.”
With a dedicated group of inmate trainers, head trainer Cheri Hagen and community volunteers, service dog training classes are underway at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in Eagle River. The puppies include, from left to right, Baylee, Bella, Sophi, Cooper and Madison. The department’s program at HMCC has graduated four trained service dogs since the program began in 2009. All have been placed with wounded veterans.
A meeting on the topic of training service dogs in a prison setting was held at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center on March 22. Much of the focus was on meeting folks involved in a new organization established to increase the availability of service dogs for Alaskans who could benefit from their assistance. HMCC has a remarkable home-grown program in place which has trained 5 service dogs so far, all of whom have been given to wounded soldiers. The meeting provided an opportunity for HMCC staff to meet Sr. Paulina Quinn, who has established service dog training programs in prisons across the nation.