WHITESTOWN — Two new K-9 officers joined the ranks of the Sheriff’s Office this morning in a ceremony at the department’s Judd Road headquarters. Sheriff Robert M. Maciol introduced the dogs at a meet-and-greet at the Deputy Kurt B. Wyman Law Enforcement Building this morning.
Bo, a German shorthaired pointer, is a certified drug dog that will be assigned to the county jail, Maciol said. Bo will be involved in narcotics detection, with a focus on the visitation area and incoming mail, both of which are the most common ways illegal drugs enter the jail, according to Maciol.
Bo and training costs came to $10,500. Surplus funds in the sheriff’s budget were used and approved by the Board of Legislators and county executive Anthony Picente Jr. Bo’s hander is Officer Merzuk Hozanovic. This will be the first time a drug-sniffing dog will be assigned full-time to the jail.
Erica, a German shepherd, is a certified explosive detection dog that will be primarily assigned to the Oneida County Office Building but will be deployed wherever explosives detection is needed, Maciol said. She served overseas with a private military contractor and was decommissioned and donated to the Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy Mike Baker will be Erica’s handler and will undergo continuous training under K9 unit supervisor Sgt. James Dancer. The dogs will join three other dogs on duty with the Sheriff’s Office.
The others are Sgt. James Danquer and Kal, a Dutch shepherd certified in patrol duties and explosives detection; Cpl. Jason Osika and Enzo, a German shepherd in patrol and narcotics detection; and Deputy John Cusak and Natalie, a chocolate Lab certified in patrol duties, narcotics detection and community affairs and public relations.