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First ever Connecticut firearm detection K9’s graduate training

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Today the Connecticut State Police K9 Unit will be graduating Four K-9 Teams specially trained to detect the presence of firearms as part of the very first Firearm Detection K-9 Training Class. These K-9 teams have trained for six weeks. Their training program – developed by the Connecticut State Police – is the first of its kind in New England. The four graduating K-9s have been specially trained to detect and alert their handlers to the presence of firearms and spent ammunition shell casings. Now, these K-9 teams will assist police in combating gun violence in Connecticut communities. Firearm Detection is a new capability within the CSP K-9 training program. Training and certification standards were researched, developed, and instituted by the Connecticut State Police K-9 Training Unit and were subsequently adopted by the New England State Police Administrator's Conference (NESPAC) as the standard for all Firearm Detection K-9s trained and certified by every New England State Police Department. The training methodology developed is unique and proprietary to the Connecticut State Police K-9 Training Unit and has proven very effective in both training and criminal investigative deployments. The K-9 Teams can even identify and alert their handler to a specific person armed with a concealed firearm in a crowded venue such as an airport, train station, school, mall, or sports stadium. Graduating K9 Teams are as follows (Attached class photo from left to right): CSP Bureau of Criminal Investigations-Organized Crime Task Force Detective Peter Maronde & K9 Darlene Hartford Police Department Violent Crime Unit Detective Mark Roskowski & K9 Vanguard Meriden Police Department Neighborhood Initiative Officer James Decrisantis & K9 Mika CSP Special Licensing & Firearms Unit Trooper First Class Joe Narcisse & K9 Rocky

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MERIDEN  — There are four new police K9’s that will be serving our state, and they’re bringing a whole new skill set with them.

These are the very first graduates of the Connecticut State Police Firearm Detection K9 training program and their skill sets are unique.

These four K9s are the first in the state that can detect firearms.

“The canines will alert to shell casings and firearms themselves. So an example would be you have a crime scene and there may be casings scattered all over the place it’s very labor-intensive should have a number of detectives scour that area and maybe poor lighting conditions a lot of these crimes occur at night the dog is much more efficient in locating all those evidence items at the scene,” said Troopers John Naples, the Lead Instructor, Firearm detection program.

After about three months of training, these K9 are ready to join the force. Two will serve state police, another will work in Hartford and one with Meriden police.

These K9s alert their handlers that they found a firearm by sitting next to the item. They’re all working for food rewards and once they get that reward they continue their work.

“It’s all a game even with any of the other Shepherd’s it’s about a game. You have to think like a dog they want to play a game because the result of the game is either they get their toy and a ton of praise or she’s a food reward dog so she gets fed and she gets a ton of praise so it’s a win-win for her,” said Officer James Decrisantis, Meriden Police Department.

Now that they’ve graduated, it’s off to work. Their number one mission is to crack down on gun violence in our state.

While the work these dogs are doing is very serious, the dog’s personalities are anything but. These dogs were originally slated to be guide dogs but flunked out of that program. Now they’re firearm detection superstars.

“I still can’t believe I get paid to have a dog at work every day it’s like you don’t have any bad days anymore,” said Decrisantis.

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