The Orange County Sheriff’s Office hosted its K-9 Academy explosives and narcotics graduation on Fri., Dec. 22 at the County’s Emergency Services Center in Goshen. Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus, Sheriff Carl E. DuBois, Undersheriff Kenneth T. Jones, Assistant Undersheriff Anthony Weed, Legislator James O’Donnell and several local law enforcement officials attended the event.
The graduates were Sergeant Dustin Palen from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and his K-9 Skip, Deputy Kevin Golden from the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office and K-9 Lennon, Officer Alex Lopez from the Rockland County’s Sheriff’s Office and his K-9 Bam, Town of Woodbury Officer Jahn Farrell and K-9 Zeke, Town of Wallkill Officer Ian Holmes and K-9 Argo, City of Port Jervis Officer Andrew Haniuk and K-9 Roan, Jordan McInerney of the City of Middletown and K-9 Storm, Village of Goshen Sergeant John Manna and K-9 Melville and Deputy Chris Irwin, and his K-9 Kato.
The K-9’s and their handlers were trained by Sgt. David Campbell and apprentice trainers Sgt. Palen and Sgt. Jose Rodriguez of the U.S. Park Police. The graduates were trained for 12 weeks for explosive detection and eight weeks for narcotics detection. During the training, the K-9’s were taught to locate and then indicate on the presence of narcotic or explosive odors.
“Police K-9’s play an important role in keeping our communities safe and I was proud to recognize and congratulate this graduating class,” Neuhaus said. “The handlers and the K-9’s underwent intense training which will enable them to continue to protect and serve our residents. We are all proud of the wonderful work that the Orange County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit performs on a daily basis and I will continue to support law enforcement.”
During Friday’s graduation, Sgt. Campbell was recognized for his 20-years of service with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, including the last 16 with the K-9 unit. He is retiring next month.
“Sergeant Campbell is a true professional and a gentleman,” said Neuhaus. “He did a wonderful job with the K-9’s and was well-liked by his peers. I wish Dave the best in retirement.”
Sgt. Palen and Officer Haniuk were presented with ballistic vests for their K-9’s in memory of former Orange County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Deputy Robert “Skip” Dooley, who passed away in October at the age of 69. Palen’s K-9 is named after Dooley, who retired in 2011. Dooley’s family presented the vests to the graduates.