The Handlers

The K-9s

FTO Joshua Faust


In service since: 2003

College: Kutztown University with a Major in Criminal Justice Graduated in December 2000

Rank: K-9 Handler/trainer for the unit. I have been the trainer since 2013 after completing a trainer course at Shallow Creek Kennels.

Why did you want to be a K-9 Handler: My dad’s cousin was a handler for a department near my hometown and I was always fascinated by how the dogs work.

What do you do for fun: Running and exercise, as well as time with my family.

Fact: In 2008 I was appointed to the position of K9 with my first partner Rocky, my second partner was Trooper. Rocky retired in 2013, Trooper retired in 2022. In 2013 I was sent to Shallow Creek Kennels to become the K9 Unit’s trainer.

K-9 Brutus

New info to come on K-9 Brutus.

Officer Brian Adler


In service since: 2011

Rank: K-9 Officer

Why did you want to be a K-9 Handler: Prior to obtaining the K-9 handler position, I was assigned to patrol. K-9 was always a career goal of mine. Working alongside the current handlers over the course of my almost 9-year career drove me to actively pursue my dreams.

Favorite part of your Job: My favorite part of my job is the positive interactions I can have with the public, especially children and young adults.

What do you do for fun: In my free time I enjoy weight lifting and exploring new places, especially those of historical significance, with my family.

K-9 Ghost

Born: March 2018

Age: 2 years old

Origin: Hungary

What does he do in his off time: When Ghost is home, he enjoys playing with every dog toy in the house (our Lab was quite spoiled when she was an only dog) and playing fetch in the backyard.

Officer David Vega


In service since: 2014

Rank: K-9 Officer

College: Liberty University (BS Natural, Physical, & Computational Sciences)

Why did you want to be a K-9 Handler: I loved the prospect of training, working, and living daily with a dog and becoming a greater asset to my department and the surrounding agencies.

Favorite part of your Job: Learning the fundamentals inherent to the role of the K-9 Handler position.

What do you do for fun: I enjoy spending time with my wife and children. Trail walks & short field trips are popular favorites.

K-9 Rex

Date of Birth: August 8, 2018

Origin: Hungary (which is appropriate because Rex has an insatiable appetite)

Breed: German Shepherd

Special talent: So far Rex is in the very early stages of training. I think he is going to become an ideal partner and a perfect companion

What does he do in his off time: Though he has a very high work drive, Rex loves to cuddle when not actively training.

Officer José Ramos


In service since: 2014

Rank: K-9 Officer

Why did you want to be a K-9 Handler: Since I have been employed with the Reading Police Department, I have always desired to be a K-9 Handler. I enjoy watching the dogs work and have been fascinated by their intelligence and agility. While working in patrol, I had the opportunity to see how the K-9 Unit work as a team and their commitment to the community. I have been fortunate enough to train with my personal dog, as a member of the Middle Creek Search and Rescue K-9 Team.

Favorite part of your Job: The team building aspect with my K-9 and fellow handlers. I also enjoy working with the community to build and strengthen the relationship with the Reading Police Department.

What do you do for fun: Spending time with my family, friends and training my own dog.

K-9 Thanos

Date of Birth: March 14, 2021

Origin: Czech Republic

Breed: German Shepherd

Special talent: Thanos can run remarkably fast and has a stationary vertical jump that is nearly 6 feet high.

What does he do in his off time: When Thanos is not working, he loves running around in the back yard, playing with his toys.

Officer Ross Heckler


In service since: 2016

Rank: K-9 Officer

Why did you want to be a K-9 Handler:

Favorite part of your Job:

What do you do for fun:

K-9 Chase

New info to come on K-9 Chase.

Officer Raymond Acevedo


In service since: 2016

Rank: K-9 Officer

Why did you want to be a K-9 Handler: Having been a dog lover my entire life I admire the working dogs work ethic and drive. I would get excited watching the dogs search a building, a vehicle, or perform bite work. Since then I always wanted to be on the other side of the leash leading the dog. 

Favorite part of your Job:

What do you do for fun: I compete in Cross Fit competitions as well as police motorcycle competitions.

Fact: I have competed in CrossFit competitions in Maryland, Pennsylvania as well as in the Mojave Desert where I placed third in my division. I also competed in a CrossFit competition during the world police and fire games hosted in the Netherlands. I tied for gold in my skill division. 

K-9 Blue

New info to come on K-9 Blue.

Reading Police Department Handlers and Retired K-9s

Andy Winters – K9 Rex

Jason Linderman – K9 Tank

Joshua Faust – K9 Rocky & K9 Trooper

Hector Santiago – K9 Caine & K9 Hemi

Tina Fallstich – K9 Max

Eric Goudy – K9 Reno

John Hutchinson – K9 Cody

Mark Hackney – K9 Nero

Alex Sholedice – K9 Nico

Jim Howe – K9 Bear and K9 Zor

Mark Hafner – K9 Ben and K9 Loki

Dave Gabrielli – K9 Blitz and K9 Fax

Gary Fetter – K9 Zorro

Brian Burr – K9 Rock

Guy Lehman – K9 Logan

Terry Greth – K9 Spartan

Al Baumener – K9 Shane

Tom Kohl – K9 Smokey

Tony Miccki – K9 Shawn and K9 Major

Randy Habecker – K9 Cie and K9 Baron and K9 Wolf

Scott Naugle – K9 Hogan

Al Shade – K9 Baron

Kenny Seifert – K9 Rock

Bob Ramsey – K9 Baron

Jim Bell – K9 King

Terry Sassaman – K9 Nick

Phil Santoro – K9 Thor and K9 Smokey

Joe Stajkowski – K9 Chicky

Stan McCarty – K9 Spike and K9 Max and K9 Bear

Russ Claytor – K9 Cozmo

Dave Speece

Ralph Bearsler

Bob Dohner – K9 Sarge