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SPD Welcomes K-9 Joko
Posted on 11/22/2022

The Statesville Police Department is excited to introduce the newest K-9 to the department!  Joko (pronounced Joe-Koe) is a two year old English Lab that was born in Romania.  He was acquired by Global K-9 Protection Group in Opelika, AL to train as a narcotics detection dog where he was imprinted on narcotic odors.

Upon his arrival to Statesville, Joko received additional narcotics training with SPD K-9 trainer Cpl. Michael Mitchell, and then trained with his new handler Officer Hunter Bell.  They completed the required testing last week and Joko is now certified with the United Police Work Dog Association. 

“I’ve always wanted to be a K-9 handler,” said Bell.  “Joko is just a big puppy and has been a lot of fun.  He’s a 70lb teddy bear that loves everyone he meets!”  Officer Bell has been with the department for two and a half years and worked patrol before becoming a school resource officer.  Joko joined Officer Bell at Statesville High School and will be visiting other schools in the city as needed.

On Monday, Joko and Officer Bell stopped by City Hall for a chat with the Mayor.  He also toured City Hall and met with Police Chief David Onley.