By Jim Joyner, firstname.lastname@example.org
7:30 PM EST, December 29, 2012
After 14 weeks of training, a new team of 10 Maryland State Police K9 officers graduated on Dec. 14.
The dogs and their handlers shared the spotlight at a ceremony at the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions facility in Sykesville.
The new team includes eight German shepherds, one chocolate Labrador retriever and one golden retriever.
This year's class is the largest canine class ever to graduate from the training facility.
They are all drug dogs and will conduct drug detection and interdiction work in Maryland.
Three teams will be assigned to the JFK Highway Barrack to patrol Interstate 95. Two will be assigned to the Centerville Barrack.
The five remaining teams will work with the Metro Area Drug Task Force, patrolling the Washington metropolitan area, as well as areas served by the Glen Burnie, Waldorf, Frederick, and Salisbury barracks.
Currently, there are 36 handlers and 44 K9s assigned to the Maryland State Police throughout the state.
The Maryland State Police K-9 unit has been in operation for more than 50 years.