Temple Police’s Newest Canine Officer

Murphy as a puppy on the beach right after the Besa family got her.

Meet Murphy, the newest member of the Temple Police force.

His owner, Officer Larry Besa, has been with the K9 force at Temple for eight years now. Officer Besa has been training with his yellow lab, Jarvis, for the span of those years. He added Murphy to the family this past August.

Murphy and Jarvis playing tug of war at home.

Since then, the two have become best buds. When showing a picture of the two playing one night, he explained, “He gets a toy and then they just play tug of war for an hour. They’re buddies.”

Both dogs are trained in explosive-detection and patrol, which includes crowd control, article search, and tracking. They work at all different events ranging from the Liacouras Center to potentially out-of-state.

These dogs go through extensive training programs at the Philadelphia Police Academy to keep their skills fresh. They train at least three times a week while at work, and are re-certified twice a month. One of those certifications is for the explosive-detective portion, while the other is for the patrol aspect.

Despite all of the work that goes into training the dogs to be ready for the job, Officer Besa says it’s all worth it.

Officer Larry Besa with Jarvis (left) and Murphy (right).

When asked what the best part about the job is, he replied, “It’s a different job than the patrol aspect of riding around in a police car and answering radio calls. As the day goes on and you’re out there, you get the dog out of the car and you play with the dog and he does something crazy and stupid and it makes you laugh.”


Temple students can catch both these pups around campus, and are encouraged to always say hello!


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