Employee of the Month — K-9 Champ
It hasn’t happened often, but it has been known to occur: an employee who’s been with DGS for a short time is recognized as Employee of the Month. The selection criteria set a high bar and include a strong work ethic, positive attitude, professional behavior and service to others. It can take some time for all these characteristics to reveal themselves.
The September Employee of the Month is one such employee. After just a few weeks with DGS, his supervisors were speaking highly of his on-the-job skills. They noted his enthusiasm, determination and tireless efforts to fulfill his responsibilities. They praised his natural talent to get along with his colleagues, other state employees and citizens, and pointed out his strong commitment to public service.
His name is Champ, and he joined the DGS Maryland Capitol Police in June. While he has been with the police force for only a few months, he was selected for special recognition because he meets all the criteria and excels both on and off the force.
You’ve figured out by now that Champ is a dog. Not just any dog, mind you. Champ is a male English Labrador Retriever and a K-9. Almost 2 ½ years old, Champ was acquired from a K-9 training camp in North Carolina. ‘Hired’ for his levelheadedness and desire to work – for a reward – Champ is the first member of MCP’s working dog program.
He was trained to detect and locate the presence of harmful explosives, and he gets regular training to keep his skills sharp. He and his handler, Officer Charlie Berkowich, conduct precautionary scans as they regularly patrol state buildings in Annapolis and Baltimore. Champ’s special ability and high energy have already made him a vital addition to the Maryland Capitol Police.
“A swift response to explosives threats and a loving companion to the officers, Champ is already a fast favorite of the citizens he serves,” said MCP Chief Mike Wilson. “His commitment to public service is obvious in his enthusiasm when working.”
When not working, Champ lives with Charlie and his family. His favorite off-duty activity? Chasing a tennis ball!
For his enthusiasm, unique skills and commitment to the safety of others, Champ is our Employee of the Month for September.