Press Release Article


Date: May 09, 2003
Press Release Number: 62-2003

Port Authority Police K-9 Thor and his handler, Officer Mariann Baumbach, who have worked together as a narcotics detection team for more than six years, recently received the nation’s most prestigious award in their field – the National Top Case for Detector Dogs for 2002.

The annual award is given to a police dog and handler based on their outstanding work and accomplishments in the field of narcotics detection. Officer Baumbach accepted the award at the association’s national awards ceremony in Minnesota this week.

In January 2002, Thor and officer Baumbach were working at John F. Kennedy International Airport and were called in by federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents to investigate a suspicious van located in a parking garage. Thor discovered two vans loaded with 537 kilos of cocaine with a street value of more than $13 million.

\"Officer Baumbach and K-9 Thor are a shining example of the many important facets that go into police work at the Port Authority,\" said Charles D. De Rienzo, Port Authority Superintendent of Police/Director of Public Safety. \"K-9 dogs like Thor provide our police with an invaluable tool in fighting crime on many different levels and we are proud of this accomplishment.\"

Thor is a seven-year-old German Shepard who was born on a farm in Germany and has been trained as a police K-9 through the efforts of Officer Baumbach since he was 2 1/2 years old. Thor lives with Officer Baumbach at her home in New Jersey.

Thirty-nine explosives and narcotics detection dogs serve the Port Authority Police Department at the agency’s transportation facilities.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates some of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH rapid-transit system; the Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.

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