New Canaan Police Seek Permission To Acquire Labrador Retriever As Second K-9 Dog

Saying it would bolster the town’s efforts to rid New Canaan of drugs such as heroin, police on Wednesday proposed acquiring a second K-9 dog for the department. A Labrador retriever’s work would include drug detection and tracking—much as the dog in place since last summer, Apollo the German shepherd, performs those duties and additionally is trained for patrol and apprehension—and also would boost the department’s community relations, K-9 Officer David Rivera told members of the Police Commission at their regular meeting. “A lot of times when I do demonstrations, I restrict people petting him [Apollo]— that is just me being a good handler to the town,” Rivera said at the meeting, held at NCPD headquarters. “That being said, getting Labrador retriever, all the kids would be able to pet the lab and we would be in a really great position to provide this community with something that a lot of communities do not get, and that is interaction with police officers.”

He added: “I feel we have an opportunity in working in one of the best police departments in the state of Connecticut to have the best K-9 program. What would really help with combating the heroin epidemic and drugs we see coming into the town would be the implementation of another K-9.”

The police department’s K-9 program is paid for entirely out of a private fund that’s supported by donations.

‘He’s Eating Well’: New Canaan’s Pet Pantry Feeds NCPD K-9 Dog Apollo

Since the New Canaan Police Department acquired its new K-9, Apollo, one year ago, and especially since the German shepherd dog started working at the July 4 Waveny fireworks, the animal has assisted in drug arrests, pursued burglars, trawled the high school for narcotics and searched for missing people. The dog works up a healthy appetite doing all that work, and requires a nourishing, nutritious diet to stay sharp, according to K-9 Officer David Rivera. And since Apollo started in the job, his food has been 100 percent provided for by a local business: Pet Pantry on Grove Street. “It’s very convenient. It’s awesome,” Rivera said from outside the business on Monday that he visits regularly to pick up Apollo’s Orijen-brand food.

Police K-9 Unit Sweeps New Canaan High School for Heroin, Other Drugs in Training Exercise

New Canaan Police K 9 Apollo at NCHS
The New Canaan Police Department’s newly deployed K-9 unit swept through New Canaan High School’s hallways Wednesday morning, sniffing lockers during a demonstration and training exercise that could yield a more regular effort to use the drug-sniffing dog to combat substance abuse among local youth. Apollo, a German shepherd dog that since completing training in July has worked throughout town with NCPD Officer David Rivera—making his public debut at the Family Fourth at Waveny and already helping police with drug arrests in town—spent more than one hour sniffing lockers up and down NCHS hallways. The keenly sensitive, drug-sniffing dog successfully detected marijuana and heroin planted by NCPD officers during a tightly controlled test, and is able additionally to detect crack-cocaine and cocaine, among other drugs, Rivera said. “Once he tells me he is entirely sure, that’s when I am good with it,” Rivera said during the session, as a leashed Apollo in sweeping the lockers throughout the hallways stopped and lay down in front of those where School Resource Officer Jason Kim had planted the drugs as a test. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi, Police Chief Leon Krolikowski and NCHS Principal Bill Egan followed Rivera and Kim through the school.

‘A Very Good Dog’: Police Department’s New K-9, Apollo, Makes Waveny Debut

New Canaan’s first K-9 Police dog in more than two years started his patrol on our nation’s birthday on Saturday, at the 35th annual Family Fourth celebration at Waveny. Apollo, a full-breed German Shepherd dog, has been with his partner, Officer David Rivera for 2.5 months, and lives with Rivera at his house. He is cross-trained as a patrol dog who also has a narcotics certification, the police officer said. Apollo will assist police in finding missing items, persons, and also locating narcotics. “His ability to find people, I would say, is the best tool that is going to be brought to the town,” said Officer Rivera.

‘He’s Exceptional’: Meet Apollo, New Canaan’s New K-9 Police Dog

Soon and for the first time in more than two years, the New Canaan Police Department will have its own K-9 dog trained in apprehending suspects, sniffing out drugs and tracking missing people and items.

Apollo, an 18-month-old German Shepherd dog from Washington state, is bonding with newly designated K-9 Officer David Rivera, and will start formal training in about two weeks, according to Police Chief Leon Krolikowski. Purchased entirely with generous donations to a K-9 fund for the department, Apollo “perfectly balanced,” the chief said. “Meaning that he’s very social and calm, but then when he needs to work, he works,” Krolikowski said. “He’s a dog that you can trust.”

Apollo’s formal training doesn’t start until May 15, though he’s already spending all his time with Rivera, riding along in the cruiser and living with the police officer. The animal will undergo certification training in patrol work (apprehending suspects), tracking and narcotics (heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines and marijuana), Krolikowski said.