The Tahlequah Police Department started our K-9 Unit in 2005 when Duke and Tedy, K-9-1 and K-9-2 started at the Tahlequah Police Department. Officers Todd Carnes and Elden Graves served as handlers for the Duke and Tedy and worked tirelessly in the schools and community. Through contracts with local schools, the K9 Units participate in educational programs, security for special events, and safety checks. Major, K-9-3 was added in 2008 and Bo, K-9-4 was added in 2012.
The two current K-9 units are Josh Girdner and partner Burro and Bryan Qualls and partner Ivo. Both dogs were purchased at Littlerock K-9 Academy and are Belgian Malinois. Both duos work in our area schools, providing narcotics detection, educational programs and security for special events.
Current Handlers and K-9s
Officer Josh Girdner has been in law enforcement for 8 years. He started his career as a reserve for the Tahlequah Police Department when he was 21 years old. He was later hired as a deputy with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and worked for them for one year prior to being hired as a full-time Patrolman for the Tahlequah Police Department in 2014. In 2016 he was promoted to a K-9 position and in March of 2017, Josh went to Little Rock K-9 and chose his new partner, Burro. Burro is a two year old Belgian Malinois. Burro is a dual purpose canine trained in tracking, criminal apprehension, and narcotic detection.
Officer Bryan Qualls has been in law enforcement for 12 years. He started his career as a Ranger at Sequoyah State Park in 2006. In 2012, he was hired as a deputy with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and worked for them part-time until June of 2016, when he was hired as a Patrolman at Tahlequah Police Department. In July of 2017, Bryan Qualls was promoted to a K-9 position. He went to Little Rock K-9 and chose his new partner, Ivo. Ivo is a two year old Belgian Malinois. Ivo is a dual purpose canine trained in tracking, criminal apprehension, and narcotic detection.