Officer Thomas Carroll and Justice are undergoing training program

TOWN OF KENT - Justice, a two-year-old German shepherd from Slovakia, is the newest member of the Kent Police Department.

Justice and his partner, Officer Thomas Carroll, a nine-year Kent Police veteran, are undergoing a rigorous 17-week training course at the Yonkers Police Department.

Training occurs daily and consists of obedience, tracking and searching buildings for criminals as well as searching for lost people. "The dog should be an invaluable asset in Putnam County, which has miles and miles of rolling hills where hikers and children can easily become lost," said Officer Carroll.

Officer Carroll said a police dog was a valuable asset for any police department. "They are great when it comes to searching buildings. When a dog goes in looking for a perpetrator, the crook is always apprehended. Dogs save time, money and it's safer for the officers as well," he said.

On St. Patrick's Day, Officer Carroll invited this reporter to his residence where Justice was bonding with the policeman's daughter, Brittany.

"It's important that Justice relates well with children as well as adults. Justice will be a user-friendly dog. He's being trained in police work but he must also be well behaved and be able to work with children in school and community settings," he said.

Brittany, a kindergarten student, said she liked the dog. "He's a nice German shepherd. He's big but he's gentle. I told my friends in school about Justice," said the little girl.

Kent Police Chief Donald Smith said one of the positive attributes of Justice joining the local police was that no cost was being incurred by Town of Kent residents.

"A local resident who wishes to remain anonymous donated the $2,900 for the purchase of the dog. Dr. Mark Feldman, a local veterinarian has agreed to provide medical care. Guchi Dog Grooming has promised food for the dog while two dozen businesses have pledged thousands of dollars for equipment including a specially designed cage for the police car," said the chief.

Officer Carroll said by June, Justice will be riding with him on his daily rounds. "Training will be completed by then," he said.

Officer Carroll made special mention of Yonkers Police Department canine trainer Gary Pietropaolo. "Gary has been an incredible instructor with both Justice as well as myself," he said.

Chief Smith said in addition to the apprehension of criminals and searching for missing people, the Kent Police Department intends to provide the community with public service sessions dealing with police dogs. "We want school children to learn about Justice. Sometimes children see officers in a negative way. Justice will be an excellent tool to change that perception," he said.

Justice is only the second police dog in Putnam County. The Putnam Sheriff's Department has a canine, Warden, who is assigned to Deputy Robert Langley.

©Putnam County Courier 2002


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Wednesday, January 5, 2005
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