K9 Officer Mattis is now serving the city of Waxahachie, partnering with Officer Farmer
After receiving sufficient funding for another K9 officer, Waxahachie Police Officer Curtis Farmer and his canine partner, Mattis, have returned from three months of training in Florida.
The pair have been working the streets for about three weeks now, already seizing narcotics in the community.
The hunt for another K9 officer came about after K9 Officer Cross died.
“When our previous K9, Cross, passed away, then there was an outpouring of public support. So we had a lot of people ask about donating and replacing him, and so through their donations, we were able to purchase another dog. And of course, COVID delayed it a little bit in terms of travel and everything,” shared Waxahachie Police Department Chief Wade Goolsby.
“We have selective providers that provide quality dogs, so we ended up contacting a dog provider and trainer out of Florida. Officer Curtis Farmer went down, along with Chance Huckabee, the previous canine handler of Cross, and Derek Behringer, who’s our other canine officer, and all three of them went down together to go through a selection process to find a good dog for us,” stated Goolsby. “Without a doubt, Mattis stood out as the top dog. We purchased him, and Officer Farmer spent 12 weeks down in Florida, training with him and being trained by Mattis. And so they’ve now come back, and they’re working the streets. And Mattis has already made a couple of arrests, and so it's been good.”
Officer Farmer has been in the police profession for 15 years now and has always admired the K9 department.
“I’ve always been interested in the canine position. It came available, and I put my name in the hat and did an interview, and they liked what I had to say and liked my performance. It’s based on performance also,” shared Farmer.
Since his time in Waxahachie, Mattis has gotten comfortable with Farmer’s family and the spacious backyard.
“You start bonding with the dog the longer it goes on, and then eventually you’re doing all the tasks, and you and your dog are working together. You have to be in tune with the dog ... It’s a partnership. I’ve got to give 100 percent of my trust. He’s my eyes and my ears; I’m just holding on. The credit really goes to the dog. All I have to do is do all my reading and bond with him,” said Farmer.
Farmer is very appreciative of Sergeant Chance Huckabee, K9 Cross' handler, and Officer Derek Behringer, K9 Hondo's handler, and their guidance throughout the process.
"Without Sgt. Huckabee, he’s over the K9 unit, he was the handler for Cross ... without him and Derek, they really helped me out a lot when we went to pick up the dog, and they’re my training partners. The dog won’t be as good as he is or as he’s going to be in the future without them," stated Farmer.
Although Mattis is now aiding the city of Waxahachie, the program is still needing help from the community.
Each year, the K9 officers must get recertified. With certification comes training, and funds are needed to cover the expenses of training materials.
"Currently we’re trying to gather some equipment for the dogs, some agility and stuff to train the dogs, because we have to certify them every year to keep them on the street and keep them active and working. If they don’t pass that certification, we can’t work them in the state of Texas until they do. So, we’re trying to find people to donate and help with that," shared Farmer.
If anyone is interested in donating toward the program, they can contact the police department and ask for Officer Curtis Farmer. Folks may reach him at (469) 309-4400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .