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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Office of Public Information (609) 882-2000
Capt. Gerald Lewis - ext. 6516
SFC Stephen Jones - ext. 6513
Sgt. Julian Castellanos - ext. 6515
Det II Brian Polite - ext. 6514

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 14, 2010


 
 
State Police Hail Latest Canine
Graduates in Sea Girt

Trenton - Joseph R. Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, announced that 19 of New Jersey’s newest law enforcement specialists today graduated with honors from the New Jersey State Police Canine Training Academy, Scent/Patrol Class.

Superintendent Fuentes lauded the State Police canine patrol and scent detection “team training” as the most comprehensive police canine training program available in New Jersey.  The specialized training produces highly proficient canine teams ready for patrol responsibilities and a variety of specialized scent duties.

“I’d like to congratulate the law enforcement officers who have completed the New Jersey State Police Scent/Patrol Training Program,” Fuentes said.  “Technology is advancing in so many areas of law enforcement, but when it comes to detecting life-threatening explosives, uncovering hidden narcotics or tracking missing persons, police detection canines are the most reliable and effective tools available to law enforcement.”

In attendance at the graduation ceremony is Major Edward Cetnar, Commanding Officer of the Special Operations Section and Major Annemarie DeAngelo, Troop “C” Commander.

The New Jersey State Police are proud to announce that two of the canine graduates are named after troopers who were killed in the line of duty. Trooper Tim Neville named his canine “Marshal” in memory of the first New Jersey Trooper killed in the line of duty, Trooper William Marshal who died as the result of a motorcycle accident on December 12, 1923. Trooper Michael Leip also named his canine “Casto” in memory of Trooper Marc Castellano who was who struck by a motor vehicle and died on June 6, 2010.

The 18-week patrol training class focuses on teaching the canines to assist their handlers in apprehending criminal suspects, explosives detection, scent tracking, article and suspect searches and search/rescue operations.  During the scent-training course, the canines are taught to detect various types of explosive components as well as narcotics, including cocaine, crack, heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana and hashish.

According to Lt. Jeffrey Algor, State Police Canine Unit Supervisor, the extensive training program focuses on establishing a strong bond between the handler and the canine.  Canines selected for the program must be willing workers with a great play drive and a good temperament.  Patience and understanding are prime requisites for the handler, as canine performance depends on such traits.

During the first week of training, the handlers receive an overview of the course and details of their responsibilities as canine owners.  Meanwhile, each canine is evaluated on their search and retrieval abilities and the level of bonding with the handler.

Throughout the following weeks, various training exercises are undertaken such as search and rescue tactics and the introduction of controlled substances, illegal drugs and various types of explosives.  The training is repeated until the canines are able to detect all substances used in the training.  As the training progresses, the hiding locations are made more difficult, with contraband being hidden in motor vehicles, planes, boats and buildings.

The New Jersey State Police canine training program dates to 1987 when it was created as part of the Statewide Narcotics Task Force.  During the past year, the New Jersey State Police K-9 teams assisted with over 550 criminal investigations, successfully locating and apprehending fleeing suspects, recovering evidence and providing security in crowd control situations.  State Police narcotic detector canines assisted in the seizure of illegal drugs valued at more than $ 6 million and currency seizures of more than $ 3 million.  The State Police explosive detector canines conducted over 3000 searches for hidden explosives and assisted State Police Arson and Bomb Squad detectives at suspected arson scenes.

The following agencies will be in attendance:

New Jersey State Police
Medford Township
Phillipsburg Police Department
New Jersey Department of Corrections
Asbury Park Police Department
Sussex County Sheriff’s Department
New Jersey Transit Police
Morris County Sheriff’s Department
Middletown Township Police Department
West Windsor Police Department
Hudson County Sheriff’s Department
Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department
Abington, Pennsylvania Police Department

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