The last thing Filipe DaSilva thought about was being a K9 Officer.
“I never thought I’d have a working dog,” Officer DaSilva said recently. “Now, I can’t picture life without one.”
Officer DaSilva and his partner, K9 Robika, graduated from the Bristol County K9 Academy last week at a small ceremony at the correctional complex on Faunce Corner Road. Over the last few months, Officer DaSilva and Robika cemented a bond while developing tracking and apprehension skills.
Robika is a 20-month-old Belgian Malinois who tips the scales around 65-70 pounds. Officer DaSilva joined the BCSO in 2006 after four years in the Marine Corps. He was a corrections officer for more than a decade before being promoted to the K9 team earlier this year.
Sgt. William Dillingham said he’s noticed Robika pick up some aspects of being a working dog faster than other canines.
“His tracking on different surfaces has been great,” Sgt. Dillingham said. “He picked that up really quickly, whether it’s asphalt or grass/woods, he’s been solid there.”
Officer DaSilva lives in Dartmouth with his wife and two children, who just happen to be Robika’s best pals around the house.
“My son will go up to him, pet him and hug him and Robika loves it,” Officer DaSilva said. “He’s a great addition to our family.”
Also receiving recognition at the ceremony was Capt. Paul Douglas and his partner Storm, a 4-year-old Black Lab/German Shorthaired Pointer mix who finished 12 weeks of training in tracking. Storm also specializes in electronics detection.
All photos by Bristol County Sheriff’s Office: