One of the newest K9s to join the ranks of the Alaska State Troopers has been renamed in honor of a trooper killed in the line of duty last month.
Sgt. Scott Johnson, a longtime member of the AST K9 program, was shot to death in Tanana May 1. Troopers said Johnson was instrumental in the K9 program’s development over the years and at the request of Johnson’s widow, the program’s new German shepard has been renamed “Skippy,” Johnson’s nickname.
Skippy was previously named Paxson, a name chosen by students at Weller Elementary School, according to troopers. He and his handler, Trooper Joshua Rallo, recently returned from training where AST said they received dual-purpose certifications to track both narcotics and people.