K-Beach Elementary class wins contest to name new police dog

  • By KAT SORENSEN
  • Sunday, May 21, 2017 7:45pm
  • News
Alaska’s newest drug detection canine will be named Mak thanks to a suggestion from Hannah Dolphin’s sixth-grade class at Kalifornsky Beach Elementary School. (Photo Courtesy Office of the Governor)

Alaska’s newest drug detection canine will be named Mak thanks to a suggestion from Hannah Dolphin’s sixth-grade class at Kalifornsky Beach Elementary School. (Photo Courtesy Office of the Governor)

Move over, Fido — there’s a new dog in town, and his name is Mak, thanks to the students at Kalifornsky Beach Elementary School.

Mak and his pal M.O.C.H.A were named as a part of the Gov. Bill Walker’s Safer Alaska Initiative. The governor asked sixth-grade students across the state to recommend names for the two dogs via a Facebook poll. The name Mak, short for Kachemak Bay, was suggested by Hannah Dolphin’s class at Kalifornsky Beach Elementary.

M.O.C.H.A., an acronym which stands for meth, opiods, cocaine, heroin and Alaska, was suggested by Ryan Engebretsen’s class at Teeland Middle School in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District.

“M.O.C.H.A. and Mak will play important, integral roles in our efforts to create a safer Alaska,” Walker said in a release. “I’m so grateful for the participation of Alaska sixth-graders and citizens across the state in selecting these names. I look forward to seeing the important work these new dogs will do.”

Dolphin said her students started brainstorming ideas as soon as they heard about the competition. The name Mak was put forth by student Karley Johnson.

“Karley shared that she thought of the name when considering the times she has gone fishing with her dad in Kachemak Bay,” Dolphin said. “We also thought, ‘Catch ‘Em, Mak’ is a fun play on the word Kachemak.”

The class suggested the name and soon found out that Mak was in the top three contenders.

“We emailed and encouraged everyone we knew to vote for Mak,” Dolphin said.

The new names were announced May 16. There were more than 70 potential names submitted by sixth-graders, according to the release.

“The state troopers will use the K9s to help detect opioids and other drugs in a variety of places across the state in continued efforts to tamp down on drug use and trafficking,” the release states.

Dolphin said the contest was a great opportunity to involve students in law enforcement.

“The students at K-Beach work closely with law enforcement, specifically the Soldotna Police Department,” she said. “This competition was another great way to foster positive relationships between our students and law enforcement.”

Reach Kat Sorensen at kat.sorensen@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

COVID-19 (Image courtesy CDC)
State reports 3 more COVID deaths, more than 900 cases

The newly reported deaths push Alaska’s total to 594 COVID fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic.

In this July 1908 photograph provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office, the U.S. Revenue Cutter Bear sits at anchor while on Bering Sea Patrol off Alaska. The wreckage of the storied vessel, that served in two World Wars and patrolled frigid Arctic waters for decades, has been found, the Coast Guard said Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office via AP)
Coast Guard: Wreck found in Atlantic is storied cutter Bear

The ship performed patrols in waters off Alaska for decades.

The Federal Aviation Administration released an initiative to improve flight safety in Alaska for all aviation on Oct. 14, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
FAA releases Alaska aviation safety initiatives

The recommendations, covering five areas, range from improvements in hardware to data-gathering.

Kyle Kornelis speaks at a public meeting about the Runway 7-25 Rehabilitation Project on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna airport unveils revamped runway

Runway 7-25 was temporarily closed earlier this year while it underwent renovations.

Alaska Redistricting Board Director Peter Torkelson speaks at a redistricting open house on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska Redistricting Board Director Peter Torkelson speaks at a redistricting open house on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Redistricting proposals draw concerns from local residents

The state is seeking feedback on the best way to redraw the state’s legislative district boundaries in the wake of the 2020 census.

Signs advertising COVID-19 safety protocoals stand outside the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Oct. 6, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Ordinance seeks more funding for sports complex renovations

Approved for introduction by the Soldotna City Council during their Oct. 13 meeting, the legislation would put an extra $583,000 toward the project

Most Read