DARLINGTON—Returning to the Darlington Police Department, this time for a full-time position, is officer Benjamin Conway.
Conway worked for the Darlington Police Department part-time for three months in 2011. He was hired full-time on May 12 as the K-9 officer for the department.
Police chief Jason King said the department’s former K-9 officer, James Johnson, resigned his full-time position to take a full-time job in the private sector. Johnson remains a part-time Darlington police officer.
The canine, Kilo, has been transitioned to Conway and is still on patrol. King said Johnson has helped with this transition and has trained Conway.
Conway said the dog is only supposed to respond to one person. At night he works on obedience and evidence or drug search training with Kilo.
“Right now it’s a bonding process,” Conway said.
Conway, 24, originally from Lena, Ill., is a 2010 graduate of University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a major in criminal justice with an emphasis in law enforcement. He attended the Janesville Police Academy and worked part-time for the Darlington Police Department from April to July 2011, when he accepted a full-time position in Elgin, Ill.
“I’m from Lena and it’s also a small town,” Conway said. “I think it’s pretty similar to Darlington. I like the small town a lot better than the city—Elgin is about 150,000 people. I also like the [Darlington] department itself. I get along with all of the officers really well.”
As the canine officer, Kilo will be with Conway all of the time. They will conduct school searches and demonstrations as well as drug and evidence searches. The dog will eventually reside with Conway when he secures permanent housing.
Conway will be attending a six-week certification course in North Carolina at the end of July to become a certified K-9 handler. King said the training will be paid for out of the K-9 fund supported by donations.
Conway said he has been reviewing Wisconsin laws after working in Illinois and is getting used to his new canine duties.
“Working nights is long, but it’s fun. I like it,” Conway said. “I hope to stay here for quite a while.”