The Hellam Township Police Department received approval from the Township Board of Supervisors to begin fundraising to create the police department’s first K-9 program. By July of the same year, with the support of local residents and businesses, the police department was able to raise enough funds to start the K-9 program. This included the purchase of the K-9, training of the K-9 and handler, outfitting a police vehicle, and other essential equipment. The Hellam Police K-9 program continues to be 100% donation funded.
Officer Mike Carpenter was chosen to be the police department’s K-9 handler. He has a total of 19 years experience in law enforcement, including being with the Hellam Township Police Department since July 2018, and with the Wrightsville Police Department for the previous 10 years.
On August 25th, 2020, the first K-9 for the Hellam Township Police Department was chosen. K-9 Cerberus is Belgian Malinois/German Shepard mix, and was born in Slovakia. Cerberus is a dual purpose patrol K-9, trained in narcotics detection, apprehension, tracking, building and article searching.
Carpenter and Cerberus began a 5 week basic training on August 29th, 2020 at Castle’s K-9 in Mechanicsburg, PA. They completed their initial training in October 2020 and were one of the last K-9 teams trained at Castle’s K-9 before the retirement of Bill “Chief” Castle, following the graduation of the class. Carpenter and Cerberus have continued their training and attend monthly maintenance training and other training seminars in other states.
Social media celebrity
Since being with the police department, Cerberus has become known for his viral video on social media which has been viewed over 100 million times by people from all over the world. His video can be found on Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms.