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OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE

 
 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 02, 2005


 
 
STATE POLICE "LET THE DOGS OUT" CANINE HOMELAND DEFENDERS / CRIME FIGHTERS GRADUATE STATE POLICE DETECTOR "SCENT" SCHOOL

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

In recognizing the law enforcement officer handlers - and their K-9 partners - Superintendent Fuentes lauded the State Police canine scent detection "team" training as the most comprehensive police dog training program available in New Jersey. The specialized training is designed to produce a highly proficient canine team capable of assisting law enforcement officers in locating explosives, illegal narcotics, drug tainted currency, and other types of contraband materials.

"I'd like to congratulate the law enforcement officers who have completed the 19TH New Jersey State Police Scent Training Program," Fuentes said. "While technology is replacing people power in many areas of law enforcement investigation, when it comes to fighting terrorism and detecting life-threatening explosives or uncovering hidden narcotics, police detection dogs are still one of the most reliable and effective tools available to law enforcement."

Joining the Superintendent at the K-9 graduation ceremonies were representatives from the participating law enforcement agencies: Washington Township Police Department, New Jersey Transit Police, Burlington County Sheriff's Department, West Windsor Township Police Department, Medford Township Police Department, Mercer County Prosecutor's Office, Hammonton Police Department, CSX RR Police, Essex County Sheriff's Office.

The 11-week training class focuses on teaching the dogs to assist their handlers in apprehending criminal suspects, interdicting terrorists, explosive detection, scent tracking, article and suspect searches and search/rescue operations. During the scent training course, the dogs are taught to detect various types of explosive components as well as narcotics, including cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana and hashish.

According to SFC David Kenna, Supervisor of the State Police Canine Unit, the extensive training program focuses on establishing a strong bond between the handler and the dog. Dogs 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 dog 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 dog 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 explosive. The training is repeated until the dogs are able to detect all substances used in the training. As the training progresses, the hide locations are made increasingly more difficult, with contraband substances 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 locating and apprehending fleeing suspects, recovering evidence and providing security in crowd control situations. State Police narcotic detector dogs assisted in the seizure of illegal drugs valued at more than $20 million and currency seizures of illegal drugs valued at more than $3 million. The State Police explosive detector dogs conducted over 2000 searches for hidden explosives and assisted State Police Arson and Bomb Squad detectives at suspected arson scenes.

NEW JERSEY STATE POLICE CANINE TRAINING ACADEMY
SCENT CLASS #19

Washington Township Police Department
Patrolman Eric Bakay & K9 Valko

New Jersey Transit Police
Officer Christopher G. Knoll & K9 JJ

Burlington County Sheriff's Department

Sheriff's Officer Christopher Reinhart & K9 Grena

West Windsor Township Police Department
Patrolman Thomas P. Moody & K9 Edy

Medford Township Police Department
Patrolman Joseph M. Canuso & K9 Nomos

Mercer County Prosecutor's Office
Detective Joseph Angarone & K9 Rome

Hammonton Police Department
Patrolman Jared Baglivo & K9 Nero

CSX RR Police
Special Agent Michael O'Keefe & K9 Jerry

Essex County Sheriff's Office
Detective Dolores Paladino & K9 Nero

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