CHARLESTOWN, IN (WAVE) - There’s a new kind of paw patrol in southern Indiana.
Charlestown’s newest recruit, Hurley, isn’t afraid of getting a little ruff with her K9 training. The pup’s presence is bringing joy to the department, bearing a name that signifies so much in the community.
She’s named Hurley after fallen officer Sergeant Benton Hurley Bertram. Bertram was killed in a crash in December while chasing a suspect in a stolen car.
The Bertram family gave the department their blessing to name the new K9 after the beloved K9 handler.
”I know Sgt. Bertram would want it. That was what he wanted to do, was add another dog on," Officer Adam Clark, a Charlestown Police school resource officer at Jonathan Jennings Elementary and Charlestown Middle School, said. “He loved coming to the school, giving K9 demos, he loved being around the kids.”
Hurley will be partnered with Clark, coming to work with him as he keeps an eye on the schools. The pair are already fast friends.
As a former K9 handler, Clark is no stranger to working with dogs, but says this time around means so much to him.
“When I was getting out of K9, Sgt. Bertram was getting into K9. We actually worked together as K9 handlers for a while," Clark explained. "It means a lot, it means I get to continue what Sgt. Bertram has started.”
Already, Hurley is winning praise around the department, her energy captivating the community. She will serve as an emotional support K9 inside schools. She’s also going to be trained on how to find narcotics and how to track and area search.
At just nine weeks old, it will be a few months before Hurley’s K9 training will begin. For now, she’s getting used to her routine at Charlestown Middle and Jonathan Jennings Elementary school.
Clark said students and staff at the schools are finding comfort with the pup already. He’s excited to see that bond continue to grow.
Working as a K9 handler is rewarding, Clark said, but it's been hard going through this process without Bertram around.
“He was always smiling, laughing, joking around. He just brought joy to everybody,” Clark said. “Just like Hurley.”
It’s been months now since Bertram’s death, but the loss still feels fresh for Clark. He’s hopeful that stepping back into the K9 role with Hurley at his side will help keep Bertram’s memory alive for years to come.
”Just want the legacy to live on," Clark said.
The addition of Hurley to the Charlestown Police Department was made possible through a donation by Dakkota Integrated Systems.
In a few weeks, the Charlestown Police Department and members of the Bertram family will travel to Washington D.C. for police week to honor Bertram’s memory. For more information, or to donate to make the trip possible, click or tap here.