MERIDEN -- The Connecticut Police Academy in Meriden went to the dogs Thursday.
There were seven members of the 187th Patrol K9 class commencement ceremonies. One the most vital tools in law-enforcement comes on four legs.
"I've wanted to be a canine handler since I was in second grade," said Connecticut State Police Trooper Philip Soucy, the K9 handler for 18 month old black German Shepard Argo
"You learn that goofy works well with a dog," he said. "So, you've got to be fun and happy and light and the dog responds very well to happiness."
One of the canine handlers said, at the beginning it was like being handed the keys to a Ferrari without a license to drive it yet.
You kind of start off knowing absolutely nothing and thinking you know something, but you really don't know much," said Officer John Carlson, of the Cromwell Police Department, who graduated with his dog, Bane.
He says families are a critical component in the success of this K9 partnership.
During the ceremony, Carlson, speaking at the podium, said, "I apologize to my wife, Marissa, for making you eat after the dog. But, please understand, that it was the right thing to do."
The canines, German Shepherds, are a vital tool for law enforcement, and are trained in the areas of obedience, patrol, locating missing persons, building searches, apprehending criminals, evidence recovery, crowd control, and protecting their handlers to name a few.
Graduating K9 teams are from the Connecticut State Police Troop D – Danielson and Troop K – Colchester, The Connecticut Department of Correction (DOC), University of Connecticut (UConn) P.D., Waterbury Police Department and Cromwell Police Department.
"I'm much happier," said Soucy. "He's just, he brightens my day. I look forward to going to work."