Press Release Article


Date: Mar 27, 2002
Press Release Number: 29-2002

New Police Dogs to Receive Certification at Formal Ceremony

Eleven dogs from the Port Authority and several local law enforcement agencies will be honored for successfully completing the Port Authority Police Department’s highly regarded 10-week training course for certification in explosive and drug detection. Both dogs and handlers will be presented with diplomas at a formal graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 28, in the Marriott Hotel at Newark International Airport.

This training class is the result of a cooperative effort between the Port Authority and the New Jersey Department of Corrections. After graduation, several of the new police dogs will patrol the Port Authority’s airports, tunnels, bridges, terminals and rail system. Others will work for New Jersey Department of Corrections and police departments in Bergen and Monmouth counties in New Jersey.

“We are very confident that our new four-legged partners are ready for duty,” said Sergeant Vincent Oliva, who runs the Port Authority’s K-9 Unit and training program. “That’s because during a field training exercise in a Monmouth County high school, explosive detection trainees not only easily uncovered a bomb-scented packaged hidden in the school, but they also detected illegal fireworks stored in a student’s locker.”

Six German shepherds, four Labrador retrievers, and one Belgian shepherd were trained in the program. The Port Authority’s K-9 unit was created in the early 1980s. The agency began training detection dogs in 1993. An explosive detection dog, Sirius, was killed in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

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