CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – This week dozens of police dogs who work here in Western Massachusetts are being certified.
Some of these police dogs are being certified for the first time others went for their re-certification but all of them have a relationship with their handler unlike an average dog.
These are no average dogs, these are working police dogs who have mastered a lot more. The process to get them to this point is not an easy one.
“You bond the first stage is the bonding phase so I initially rode around in the cruiser with him. Then we went to the 8 week academy and that was for patrol certification. He’s what we call a dual purpose dog so then after that we had to wait for narcotics school,” said Chicopee Police Officer Ryan Romano.
Most of the dogs have their Patrol certification. Some are also certified in narcotics detection, others in explosives.
Part of the certification for these K-9’s is to be able to find drugs in cars. Some of the had drugs in them, some don’t. The dogs need to be able to tell the difference.
After certification these dog officers become a big part of police departments. “Well the dogs work is invaluable to us. If a dogs out on point we’re not putting a human life out there. No one wants to lose a dog but the dogs are saving officers lives,” said Dwane Foisy of The Massachusetts Police Work Dog Association.
Chicopee police Officer Romano has only been working with his dog Officer Kane for about a year now, but already their bond is strong.
“My K-9 partner he’ll always have my back, they’re just so loyal,” said Officer Romano.
After those long days at the Office Kane knows how to relax. “When he comes home from work he’s in his kennel and sometimes he’ll come out and look around as if he’s saying hey guys keep it down I work for a living,” said Officer Romano.
The career of a police dog can range depending on their health. One of the dogs being certified this week is 13 years old.