The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (DEEP) Environmental Conservation Police (EnCon Police) has announced the formation of a K-9 unit.
Four officers and their Labrador Retriever partners became certified in tracking and evidence recovery and will be recognized in a graduation ceremony at DEEP’s Marine Headquarters at 10 a.m. Thursday June 14.
The teams were trained and certified by instructors from the Connecticut State Police’s K-9 unit. The dogs will be utilized for search and rescue missions such as searching for lost or missing persons and evidence recovery. The agency also has plans to train them in specialized areas such as wildlife detection.
“K-9 teams can save valuable resources and time during critical incidents,” said DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty. “Approving the K-9 unit was one of my first official acts as Commissioner and it is rewarding to see the four officers that volunteered for this assignment become certified. They have spent hundreds of hours working with their K-9 partners to help ensure the safety of Connecticut’s residents and visitors.”
The officers and their canine partners, Officer Erin Crossman and Ellie, Officer Holly Bernier and Saydee, Officer William Logiodice and Ruger, and Officer Karen Reilly and Hunter, went through four weeks of vigorous training before becoming certified. DEEP obtained three of the dogs from Connecticut Labrador Rescue Inc, in Haddam. Michael Case, a private breeder from Colebrook donated the fourth K-9 to the department. The dogs have been living and riding with their handlers for the past year.