As part of the Safer Alaska initiative, Governor Bill Walker announced the names for the two new Alaska State Trooper drug detection K9s. K9-B will be named Mak (short for Kachemak, as in Kachemak Bay) -that name was suggested by Hannah Dolphin’s class at Kalifornsky Beach Elementary School in Kenai!
Hannah Dolphin, 6th Grade Teacher, K-Beach Elementary said, “We’re excited! One of my students, Karley Johnson, was the one who came up with the name. When I asked her why she picked it she said, ‘I thought of it because my dad goes fishing a lot. He fishes in Kachemak Bay and I was thinking of some of the days I’ve gone fishing with him.’ My class also thought the name was fun because of the play on words with Kachemak, like “Catch ‘em, Mak!”
As 5th graders, K-Beach students have the opportunity to participate in D.A.R.E, thanks to the Soldotna Police Department. Officer Brennan comes in each year to teach students about positive decision making, and resisting drugs. Our school works closely with the police department, and I think these are really good ways to foster positive relationships between students and law enforcement.”
K9-A will be named M.O.C.H.A. (acronym for Meth, Opioids, Cocaine, Heroin, Alaska); the name was suggested by Ryan Engebretsen’s class at Teeland Middle School in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley.
“M.O.C.H.A and Mak will play important, integral roles in our efforts to create a Safer Alaska,” Governor Walker said. “I’m so grateful for the participation of Alaska 6th graders and citizens across the state in selecting these names. I look forward to seeing the important work these new dogs will do.”
The State Troopers will use the K9s to help detect opioids and other drugs in a variety of places across the state in continued efforts to tamp down on drug use and trafficking. Alaska 6th graders initially submitted over 70 potential names for the new dogs after learning about the impacts of drug abuse, and how to respond in difficult situations.
Names were selected via Facebook poll from suggestions made by Alaska 6th-graders.