K-9 Unit

The Centralia Police Department K-9 Unit was created by order of Chief Ken Payne in 1979. Since that time, a total of twelve certified police canines have served the community as general service and narcotic police dogs.

Centralia Police K-9 Teams:

  • Officer Bob Willey and K-9 Cody
  • Officer Bob Willey and K-9 Joker
  • Officer Bob Willey and K-9 Kody
  • Officer Brad Reynolds and K-9 Joker
  • Officer Don Tardiff and K-9 Gunner
  • Officer Ruben Ramirez and K-9 Lobo
  • Officer Ruben Ramirez and K-9 Pax
  • Officer Ruben Ramirez and Narcotics K-9 Vida
  • Officer Stephen Summers and K-9 Samson
  • Officer Steve Dawes and Narcotics K-9 Duke
  • Officer Tracy Murphy and K-9 Bak
  • Sergeant Brian Warren and K-9 Kayo

A general service canine is trained in tracking human scent; searching buildings for intruders; searching open fields and areas for evidence; officer protection, vehicle protection and crowd control. In addition, a police dog trained in narcotics detection is capable of searching vehicles, houses and commercial businesses for drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Centralia K-9s have traditionally been German Shepherd dogs as they are strong, easily trained and very loyal. Currently, there are a Belgian Malinois, German Shepard, and a Vizsla in service to our agency. Each officer/dog team completes a three-month training program followed by certification tests conducted by the Washington State Police Canine Association. The dogs, owned by the City of Centralia, are housed with the K-9 handlers and their families. At the end of the animal's productive service life, each dog is retired and ownership is transferred to the handler.

Our K-9 units are regularly called upon to assist other law enforcement agencies in our area. The police department takes great pride in providing the very best K-9 team available to the citizens of our area.

Officer Ruben Ramirez and K-9 Lobo

Officer Ramirez began his law enforcement career as a Centralia Police Reserve Officer. After several years and countless hours of volunteer time, he was hired as a full-time officer in 2001. After K-9 Bak's retirement, the department began the process of selecting a handler and searching for a suitable dog to serve as the agency's second K-9 team. In 2010 Officer Ramirez and K-9 Lobo, which means Wolf in Spanish, became partners and began their intensive training process.

In addition to his K-9 handler duties, Officer Ramirez is also a SWAT team member, a Defensive Tactics Instructor, a Spanish translator, and patrol bike instructor. Lobo lives at home with Officer Ramirez and his family.


The police dogs are purchased exclusively through tax-deductible donations from the citizens throughout the area. Equipment, food and even ballistic vests for the dogs are donated by citizens and local businesses. Should you wish to schedule a K-9 demonstration for your group or business or if you wish to make a tax-deductible donation to the K-9 unit, please contact the Centralia Police Department at 330-7680.

Donate to the Centralia K-9 Fund.

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