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Police K9 graduation in Meriden made sweeter by 10-year-old’s contribution

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MIDDLETOWN -- It was a special day at the Connecticut Police Academy in Meriden on Thursday.

The State Police Canine Training Unit graduated its 184th patrol canine class, making eight new dogs into officers:

  • K9 Tango will team up with Officer Joshua Trifone of the Department of Corrections
  • K9 Ardo will team up with Officer John Wilson of the East Hampton Police Department
  • K9 Nova will team up with Officer Michael Colantuono of the Enfield Police Department
  • K9 Kobe will team up with Officer Brittany Bartlett of the Guilford Police Department
  • K9 Koda will team up with Officer Matthew Bloom of the Middletown Police Department
  • K9 Blitz will team up with Officer Michael Silva of the Waterbury Police Department
  • K9 Dexter will team up with Trooper William Veras with State Police Troop B - North Canaan
  • K9 Murphy will team up with Trooper First Class Michael Zmayefski of State Police Troop E - Montville

The program is 15 weeks, and serves 42 departments across the state.

An extra treat at Thursday's festivities was offered up by Janina Howard, a 10-year-old girl from Hebron, who sold cookies she baked to raise $120 for the K9 unit. She said she did it because of her love for animals and desire to help.