Police K9 Dog ‘Apollo’ To Retire After 10 Years of Service

The New Canaan Police Department’s K9 dog, a German Shepherd from Washington state who came here in 2015 to help apprehend suspects, find missing people and sniff out drugs, is set to retire, officials say. Apollo “was deployed numerous times” during his last full year of service, NCPD said in a press release, including one memorable instance where he helped officers find “an individual suffering from a mental episode.”

“This individual had jumped from the second floor of their residence and with the assistance of K9 Apollo and other emergency services the individual was located near a stream,” the press release said. “Recently, K9 Apollo was deployed to a neighboring town, where there was a possible suspect hiding inside someone’s residence while they were away. K9 Apollo successfully located the suspect hidden in the attic of the residence and was taken into custody on scene.”

Fed by local retailer Pet Pantry Warehouse and handled since last year by Officer Sebastian Obando, Apollo joined the department as an 18-month-old. He participated in community events and demonstrations until 2017, when his former handler went on extended medical leave and the animal entered specialized boarding.

New Canaan Police To Outfit Vehicle for K9 Unit

As the New Canaan Police Department works toward getting K9 dog Apollo back in service, town officials this week approved an approximately $10,000 contract with a Danbury-based company to ready a NCPD vehicle. The Board of Selectmen voted 3-0 at its regular meeting Tuesday to approve the contract with Specialty Warning Systems to install K9 equipment in a Ford Interceptor. The existing K9 vehicle is “an old Crown Victoria with well over 100,000 miles on it and the components it has now are basically failing and it’s antiquated and they don’t make the parts for it any more,” Police Capt. Andrew Walsh told the selectmen at the meeting, held at Town Hall. “So we need to replace the parts anyway, so we’re going to use a vehicle that will last longer,” Walsh said. “It’s got about 45,000 miles on it so it will last four or five years.

Police Chief: ‘High Likelihood’ of Drug Possession, Possible Dealing in New Canaan Schools

Getting a drug-sniffing dog access to public schools ranks high among  New Canaan Police Department priorities for this year, Chief Leon Krolikowski said Thursday. Police officials “are hopeful we will be able to get some folks in line” and finalize an agreement with the district so that the department’s K-9 unit can do its work inside schools, Krolikowski said during a budget hearing before the Board of Selectmen. 

“Because we do know as we sit here today that there’s a high likelihood that there are some kids in the school in possession of drugs and maybe distributing it,” Krolikowski said during the Board’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. “And what are we going to do as a town to prevent that from happening and frankly make our kids safer?”

Asked by Selectman Nick Williams where New Canaan is in the process, Krolikowski said “stalled.”

“It’s been tabled, I believe, by the superintendent and Board of Education,” he said. “It’s been a years-long effort to try to move that along and we are login to continue to do that and be a little bit more aggressive in trying to push that along. Get something in place that we are at least comfortable with.

‘We Do Not Want To Permanently Damage Kids That Make Mistakes’: Board of Ed Balks at Allowing K-9 Police Dogs in Schools

Saying they need more information and time to reflect on what would follow from allowing a police K-9 dog to search for narcotics in New Canaan schools, members of the Board of Education on Monday night decided to forgo voting on a new policy that would introduce the practice. Even if authorization from school administrators was required for K-9 searches of lockers or other areas, allowing them “has the potential to change kids’ lives,” according to Board of Ed Chair Dionna Carlson. 

“It is an important thing,” she said during the board’s regular meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “We all agree we want drug-free schools. But I think it is also an important thing to say that we have hired experts in their field to deal with kids in crisis. And so we want to do the right thing to keep our schools drug-free, but we also do not want to permanently damage kids that make mistakes.