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PD hopes to welcome new K-9 by late fall

Published 10:48 am, Wednesday, July 3, 2013
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A new K-9 dog for the New Canaan Police Department is on schedule to arrive in mid-November, Capt. Leon Krolikowski told the Police Commission at its June 19 meeting.

"Our prior canines were involved in over 440 incidents," Krolikowski said, including everything from motor vehicle stops to missing persons.

The department, which has a specific fund for the dog raised through private donations, has located an academy in North Carolina where the dog will be trained. After training, the dog will be handled by Officer Michael McFadden, who was the keeper of the department's previous two canines.

"This school is much more demanding than the prior two," McFadden said at the meeting. "We had to do a lot of additional outside training for tracking (last time) to get him to where we wanted him to be."

Many police dogs, which are frequently German shepherds, are born and bred in Germany and the Czech Republic. Given that, all police commands McFadden gives are in German, he said as an aside at the meeting. The training that takes place in the States works as a kind of finishing school.

Krolikowski said the department was looking to purchase the dog Sept. 13 with training completed by Nov. 13.

The canine will have a warm reception when it reaches New Canaan, at least from the Police Commission.

"I think this is excellent," Police Commission Chairman James Cole said of the plan to purchase a new dog.

"I am thrilled," Police Commissioner Stuart Sawabini concurred. "I'm 100 percent supportive."

One trick in the process is having a dog that's tough enough for a crime scene but gentle enough for good public relations. Police Chief Ed Nadriczny said McFadden ought to get a lot of credit for the socialization he does with the K-9s.

"Mike has spent a considerable amount of time making sure these dogs are trained," Nadriczny said at the meeting. "When the dog is running around with a bunch of Cub Scouts, you don't have to worry."

The department has had a run of bad luck with their dogs, recently. In July of 2012, its dog, Zira was forced to retire from a degenerative spinal disease. Her replacement, Rocky, died from choking in a training accident in April of 2013, after only a few months with the force.

twoods@bcnnew.com; 203-330-6582; @Woods_NCNews