New canine member in training to join new partner at SUNY Morrisville

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MORRISVILLE — The newest member of the New York State University Police at SUNY Morrisville is headed to the police academy.

For the next 20 weeks, Bruin, a year-old black German Shepherd, and his new partner, New York State University Police
Officer Nicole Wright, will undergo intense training at the
New York State Police Canine Training Facility in Cooperstown.

After they graduate from the academy, Bruin will be sworn in as a K9 officer, trained in explosives detecting (which includes any kind of firearms and bullets) and tracking (searches). He’ll wear a special collar and a badge, which identifies him as a police dog. Officer Wright will be the K9 handler.

A 2011 graduate of SUNY Morrisville’s criminal justice program, Wright has served as a member of the New York State University Police at SUNY Morrisville since 2012.

“It is an honor to be selected,” Wright said. “I thought I would be a patrol officer my whole career, but this is another step in my personal growth.”

Bruin, the 14th member of the New York State University Police at SUNY Morrisville led by Chief Paul Field, came to Morrisville from the Dark Horse K9Services, which provides training and canine assets for law enforcement, military, sport and personal protection. 

The lean, sleek 70-pound canine, whose name is shortened from Bruno Alcato Von Schwarzen Hund, advances campus safety to a new level.

“The benefit he brings to the college is huge,” Field said. “We are excited to have him onboard.”

In addition to detection and tracking, Bruin will assist in campus building searches and security sweeps at campus events and venues, alleviating the need to call in and pay for other resources. He also will secure buildings as safe for visiting dignitaries and help with crowd control.

Officers Wright and Bruin also will provide educational presentations and demonstrations to students in the college’s criminal justice associate and bachelor’s degree programs, as well as in the community, and assist agencies throughout Madison County with various requests like searches and rescues.

Bruin already had some imprinting (scent) and basic obedience when he arrived at SUNY Morrisville.

The pair’s intense K9 academy training includes instruction in basic obedience, agility, handler protection, building searches, explosive or narcotic detection, tracking for fugitives and lost or missing persons, basic veterinary care, and land navigation and grid searches.

For the past few months, Bruin has lived and trained with Wright, who has been socializing him in the campus community and acclimating him to his new surroundings.

“He is very intelligent and inquisitive and those are important qualities,” Field said. “He has a lot of skills already, which will augment Officer Wright’s talents.”

When they return from the academy, Bruin and Wright will attend monthly training sessions to maintain certification in their specialized skills. Training is provided by the New York State Police at no charge.

When he is not working, Bruin lives with Wright at her home. The average career for a police K9 is eight to 10 years. When he retires, Wright intends to keep Bruin as a devoted companion and family pet.

SUNY Morrisville’s curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.

The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges 2019 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2019 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about SUNY Morrisville, visit www.morrisville.edu.

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