New K9 Cruiser for Knox

Yesterday the Owl flew in for a visit to the Weston Police Department. There’s always something going on and usually someone willing to talk about it. Recently the Owl had overheard some chatter about a new dog limousine…also known as the K9 Kruiser. No, it’s not actually called that, and Officer Rizzitello, who has been remarkably patient with both the Wes-TEN and the Owl, might actually lose his cool if the Owl makes fun of this amazing new car. But I doubt it.

Officer Rizzitello and K9 Knox

A few months ago the Weston Police Department was given a present by an anonymous donor. On a technicality, this donor is not anonymous given that towns must officially accept gifts over $50–and gifts under $50 too (my library fines get a special Select Board agenda item some years). Let’s just say that this is slightly more than $50. The Owl respects this donor’s privacy and you should, too.

The Master Blaster K9 Kruiser (better name, right?) went into service in early March, and while the old vehicle was done for, the Police Department makes our new Sustainability Coordinator proud–the backseat “cage” was re-purposed and re-fit to the Green Machine (that is the actual nickname) driven by the Animal Control Officer. Now ACO O’Reilly doesn’t have to put the wayward 117 pig in the trunk. This is a true story–I ran into the ACO patrolling Jericho Forest on Wednesday, and we also had a nice little chat, while trying to fend off a friendly labrador named Baci. Not my dog.

Re-purposed cruiser kennel in the Green Machine

The new police vehicle has a cage that is designed for K9 Knox. For those of you living under rocks and not lucky enough to have met Knox, he’s a beautiful black shepherd who has been working for Weston Police for almost three years, since catching a jet from his homeland in Slovakia. If you haven’t seen the Wes-TEN episode when we interviewed Officer Rizzitello and K9 Knox, make sure you catch up and get as obsessed as the Wes-TEN is. You’ll definitely learn some Slovak.

I haven’t seen Knox for a year and a half and at almost four years old he’s now one big dog. A big beautiful shepherd who loves his handler very much. On a personal note, I wish everyone could spend time around Officer Rizzitello and K9 Knox– it just warms the heart to see the two interact. Knox is always leaning up against Officer Rizzitello and the officer is more frequently than not unconsciously petting him. Sadly for those of us who would really like to give Knox a hug, he is to be handled only by his officer. Torture for me.

Back to the car, though by now you have discovered I used a tour of the new Kruiser as an excuse to see Knox. Let’s see. It’s a Chevy Tahoe, it’s wicked black with that blackout writing on it and has a grille on the front that could move aside a tractor-trailer. Or a large white pine. Possibly an elephant if we ever get one of those on our Weston roads–watch out, ACO, you never know what’s next in this town. You know that the Wes-TEN is going to ask if we can drive it at some point–as everyone knows, I am an amazing backer-upper. For other technical details on the car, you’ll have to ask someone who knows what a double-overhead cam is. Clearly this is not the Owl.

Need help moving your elephant? I’ve got that

In the back, Knox can spread out with plenty of space, and his very own cocktail dish that probably contains water. The car has special ventilation, and if the car is off too long, the windows automatically go down (there is grillwork so Knox doesn’t leap out) and a fan goes on. The car has sensors and air conditioning and fancy stuff that sends notes to the officer if the car gets warm. Knox is living the life.

Bad picture…there’s more room than it looks here.

More space in the way back is not for lugging around the kids to soccer games, but rather drawers contain all kinds of police-y things that this gun-averse soul wishes not to know about. Perhaps it’s all just granola bars in there. I feel that Knox’s toy drawer needs replenishing but he seems to have a favorite bungee-ball-rope thing so don’t bother sending him the squeaky stuff.

Boxes of “stuff”. It’s all you need to know. Looks just like my car minus french fries everywhere.

On a more serious note, I asked Officer Rizzitello what he and Knox are up to. Knox spends quite a bit of time training–he has missing-person and explosive-sniffing certifications. He is working on his culinary arts degree. No, that’s not right. On Wednesday, Knox was out on special missing-persons training and ended up in first place–he found the person so fast, they took a break over at Dunkin to let the other folks catch up.

Sadly, most of the calls these days (and this includes the entire police force) have to do with fragile mental health. There are folks who simply can’t do it anymore and just walk out of their houses. Knox and others are called in to find them. A growing number of them are kids, which just breaks my heart. One gets reminded all the time to be gentle to those we meet–we have no idea what they are dealing with.

While Officer Rizzitello and I were talking, Chief Goulding pulled up and stopped for a chat. I couldn’t resist asking if the police were going to get an electric vehicle. The answer is they’re trying. The Owl is personally in favor of an all-Tesla vehicle fleet as we try to reach a sustainable future. Also, it’s Weston, so are we really going to have a Chevy Bolt cruiser? Really? The Chief said he would take the input under advisement but I have a slight feeling that he was humoring the Owl.

The police department is always looking for ways to reach out to the community and offered to meet anyone who wants to chat about concerns, feedback, or issues. You can always get a tour of the police station, and there is some top-secret Knox bling if you know the right person to ask. You can find our town’s finest at 781‑786‑6200 (non-emergency line).

Thanks for the time, Officer Rizzitello and K9 Knox. See you around the mean streets of Weston!

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