Newport Police Officer Joshua Lillis and K-9 Ozzy Make Appearance as Characters in Crime Novel

Staff Writer

NEWPORT, Vermont -- Officer Joshua Lillis and K-9 Ozzy may be familiar faces among Newport locals, but the duo also made their debut as characters in a crime novel published earlier this spring.

Officer Lillis and K-9 Ozzy, a Belgian Malinois, appear as characters in "The Obsession," a fictional crime story written by Carol Kravetz, an internationally published author. The novel is the fourth installment in Kravetz's Bathville Books series.

As she was researching K-9 tracking for her book, Kravetz contacted Officer Lillis to learn more. Officer Lillis taught Kravetz all about the process of tracking with the help of a police dog, and the work he and K-9 Ozzy are trained to do to locate victims and suspects.

"This was a unique, fun opportunity to explain what K-9 Ozzy and I do when we work together, and to help Carol realistically portray what K-9 tracking actually looks like in her novel," Officer Lillis said. "Hopefully, when people read the book, they'll understand a little more about K-9 tracking, all while enjoying the narrative Carol created."

In addition to including Officer Lillis and K-9 Ozzy as characters, the novel is set in the Newport, Vermont area.

"When I started communicating with Officer Lillis, outlining what I needed, he responded promptly with photos of Ozzy and advising he would love to help," Kravetz said. "He answered a lot of questions and explained patiently and willingly the intricacies involved with tracking a victim or suspect, right down to getting a scent, to locating the person and how Ozzy will work tirelessly until told to stand down. He taught me a lot by showing me how important a K-9 team is and I can't thank him enough for taking the time to help me bring that part of my story alive."