Virginia Tech established its K-9 program in 2002, becoming the first university police department in the state to do so.

The goal of the program is to ensure the safety of students, employees, and visitors. Currently, the department has three active service K-9 teams.

Police canine - Bax
Portrait of Officer Jaret Reece

Bax and Officer Jaret Reece

Police canine - nero
Portrait of Officer Austin Sumners

Nero and Officer Austin Sumners

Police canine - Toro
Officer Robert Ogle

Toro and Officer Rob Ogle

In addition to performing routine patrol duties on campus, the dogs track suspects and missing people, search for drugs and other chemicals, and located bombs. They are called upon to sweep Lane Stadium and other locations before home football games and other special events. The teams also give demonstrations at several Virginia Tech events every year and are an active part of the university’s community policing efforts.

The teams are available for demonstrations. For more information, contact 540-231-6411.


The university’s first K-9 officer was a German Shepherd named Hokie, who was a patrol and narcotics canine. Hokie and his handler, Officer Keith Weaver, worked together until 2008 when Hokie retired.

Current K-9 Officers

Birth Place: Germany
Breed: German Shepherd
Handler: Officer Jarett Reece
Trained: North American Police Work Dog Association and Virginia Police Work Dog Association

Birth Place: Slovakia Republic
Breed: Belgian Malinois
Handler: Officer Austin Sumners
Trained: Virginia State Police Canine Academy

Birth Place: New Jersey
Breed: Yellow Labrador Retriever
Handler: Officer Rob Ogle
Trained: Virginia State Police Canine Academy

Former K-9 officers


Hokie, a German Shepherd, was the department’s first K-9 officer. A narcotics detection dog, Hokie and his handler, Officer Keith Weaver became the university’s first K-9 team in 2002. The duo worked together until 2008 when Hokie retired and became Weaver’s family pet. Hokie was completed his training with the Virginia State Police Canine Academy in April 2002. His duties include tracking suspects, missing people and searching for drugs. During this time at Virginia Tech, Hokie was presented with a custom-fitted Kevlar bulletproof vest to protect him from all the dangers he faces while performing his daily duties. The vest was donated by the First State Chapter of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association. 


Boris, a two-year-old German Shepherd from Germany joined the police department as Weaver’s new canine partner in 2008. He graduated with North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA) and Virginia Police Work Dog Association (VPWDA) certifications in the summer of 2008. During his service, Weaver retired from the department and Officer Jaret Reece became Boris’ new handler.  Boris served the Virginia Tech community as a narcotics and apprehension police dog until he retired in 2014.  He is currently living out his retirement years with Reece as a family pet.


In 2008, Boomer, a two-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever from Germany, joined the department as the university’s second K-9. After 13 weeks of intensive training through the Virginia State Police, Boomer was certified as the university’s (and the region’s) first explosives detection K-9. Boomer is trained to identify 25 odors, the compounds of which makeup thousands of different explosives. Boomer served as an explosives detection dog for eight years until he and his handler, Officer Larry Wooddell, retired together on April 1, 2016.