Trooper K-9 Chevron visits Soldotna Elementary classroom

Shaya Straw's third-grade class at Soldotna Elementary School learned about working dogs with a visit by Alaska State Troopers Jamie and Simms and K-9 unit Chevron. 

Shaya Straw’s third-grade class at Soldotna Elementary School went to the dogs this spring with a unit studying working canines.

The class learned about the many types of jobs that canines do — service dogs to help people with disabilities, police dogs, search and rescue dogs, sled dogs and more. To culminate the unit, the class got to meet a professional pup in person — Chevron the German shepherd, who is a K-9 unit with the Alaska State Troopers. 

State Trooper Simms and K-9 unit Chevron demonstrate to onlooking students some of Chevron's abilities. 

Troopers Jaime and Simms from Soldotna’s E Detachment brought Chevron to visit the class, much to the delight of the students.

“The kids were thrilled to meet a real trooper K-9 unit. I think meeting the troopers and Chevron was a fantastic way for the children to learn more about key members of our community,” Straw said. “This is something they will remember for a long time.”

The troopers talked about how K-9 units are trained, how long they work before they retire, some of the costs involved with specialized dogs, Chevron’s particular abilities and job responsibilities, and what it’s like to be Chevron’s handler. The students were particularly interested to hear how Chevron got his name — after funding donated by Chevron the company — and what it’s like for Trooper Simms, Chevron’s handler, to live and work with his dog.

Students also enjoyed learning about Chevron’s history and training, and some of his quirks on the job.

“He was even born in Germany and, while working, he responds to commands in German,” Straw said. “We thought it was funny when Trooper Simms told us that Chevron starts barking whenever he picks up the radio to talk, like he is saying, ‘I have something to report, too!’ He was very well trained and the students each got the opportunity to pet him at the end of the visit.”