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LASD - Transit Services Bureau
Wednesday June 29th, 2016 :: 12:21 p.m. PDT


12-Year-Old Cancer Patient to Spend A Day as LASD Transit Policing Division’s Newest K9 Handler Deputy

When Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Transit Policing Division executives learned about 12-year-old Alfonso Hoffman being diagnosed with leukemia this year and that his wish is to be a K9 officer, they wanted to make it happen –even if just for a day. 

Alfonso, who lives with his parents in Boyle Heights, learned about a career in law enforcement from an uncle who is a police officer.  Alfonso began to collect law enforcement challenge coins and told his family and friends he dreamed of being a K9 officer someday.

In February, Alfonso’s mother noticed changes to his body, which prompted several trips to the doctor.  Alfonso was diagnosed with cancer.   He and his family face many challenges with three years of treatments ahead, and the first year anticipated as the most intense

On Wednesday, June 29, 2016,  Alfonso’s career dream came true! Commander Claus, who oversees the Transit Policing Division Explosives Detection K9 Unit, met Alfonso and his parents on the front steps of the Metro Transit Authority Headquarters Building and appointed him as an honorary LASD Transit Policing Explosives Detection K9 Deputy for a Day.  Alfonso gleefully received his ‘official’ assignment to train with K9 Deputies Beshai and Tweedy, and their K9 partners, Xxara and Hhatton, and could hardly wait to get to work.  The newly-deputized young man said he took his assignment very seriously, and would make sure the dogs got plenty of good training, water and treats during their shift. 

At the event, Alfonso and his family learned how special training with Xxara and Hhutton is because they are a part the second largest Transportation Security Administration-trained explosives detection canine team on the west coast.

Something else which makes these dogs unique is their names; Xxara and Hhutton were named after 9/11 victims.  And, no, you are not seeing a typo; the first letters were purposely doubled so one may readily distinguish the names to be of those whom they honor.

Acting Transit Division Chief, Commander Michael Claus said, “We are always glad to have the opportunity to make even one kid smile.  In this case, we’re hoping to make a dream come true. Something that will stay with Alfonso and his family for a long time.  I really to hope to stay in touch with him and follow his journey to recovery from this dreaded disease!”

Hopefully, if while Alfonso experiences some tough days during his upcoming treatment, he can recall a few happy moments from today’s adventure to give him a push of emotional strength and put his mind back into the positive.  Alfonso, we wish you wellness, happiness and a quick recovery!  Thank you for being our honorary K9 Deputy for a Day!

For further information about this event, please contact Public Information Officer Ramon Montenegro, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Transit Policing Division at (213) 922-3649.

The Transit Policing Division of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department consists of four bureaus, with over 600 sworn and professional staff personnel combined.  Those bureaus have the contract policing responsibility for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority or Metro, and the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, or Metrolink. 

At any given time, Metro has trains travelling on over 100 miles of track, and over 2,000 buses on the road.  While Metrolink has trains traveling through 6 different counties, with trains that can hold over 1,000 passengers on board.


Prepared by:

Ramon Montenegro, LET

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

Transit Policing Division – Public Information Officer

One Gateway Plaza, Mail Stop: 99-PL-15,

Los Angeles, CA  90012

Desk:  (213) 922-3649

Cell:  (323) 896-1169

Fax:  (323) 415-6395

TPD Desk:  (888) 950-SAFE(7233) (24 hrs)





Deputy Lillian Peck

Sheriff’s Information Bureau

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

Hall of Justice – First Floor

211 West Temple Street,

Los Angeles, CA 90012

(213) 229-1700


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