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For Sgt. Anthony Vitale and K9 Chase, the Feb. 9 Town Commission meeting was bittersweet. The occasion officially marked K9 Chase’s retirement and Sgt. Vitale’s acceptance of the Police Chief’s Award.
In 2016, Sgt. Vitale approached the Oakland Police Department with the concept of starting its own K9 Unit. With support from the Commission and the community, he collected enough donations to acquire the now eight-year-old Belgian Malinois, as well as the necessary equipment to put the skilled pooch to work.
Sgt. Vitale and his partner Chase started working together on the streets of Oakland in 2017. Since then, the pair have apprehended numerous felons, assisted with warrants and recovered various types of narcotics, not just in Town, but also in neighboring jurisdictions.
“You and K9 Chase made yourselves available for numerous community events throughout the Town of Oakland and donations continued to pour in during your team’s four years of service,” said Chief John Peek as he honored the inseparable team. “As K9 Chase is now retiring and you continue into the next phase of your career, I want to thank you for your distinguished service and outstanding commitment to the Town of Oakland and the Oakland Police Department’s K9 program.”
In his retirement, K9 Chase will live out the rest of his days with his partner and friend, Sgt. Vitale. The Oakland Police Department plans to continue its K9 program.