New Police Dog Completes Training
Jessica Guerrucci – Editor-in-Chief
Known to be a “superstar” on campus, this four-legged police force member has completed his training and is officially a member of the Southern Police.
“From a community standpoint, Brody on this campus working with Officer [Paul] Glynn as part of patrol duties has just been a big hit,” said Police Chief Joseph Dooley.
Brody, a yellow lab, is primarily trained to detect bombs and explosives. While Dooley said he does not expect there to be much of that on campus, he said his scent-oriented training is still helpful.
If a threat does arise that calls for Brody’s special skill set, Dooley said they are ready. In February, Brody began his training. Dooley said he walked him around Engleman with Deputy Chief Kenneth Rahn.
“Everybody stopped,” said Dooley. “Everybody loves Brody. Pets make people feel good so from my perspective, Brody’s been called a superstar.”
As students returned to school this fall, Brody was also used to help promote mask use by showing the incorrect and correct ways to properly wear a mask.
With everything going on right now on campus, Dooley said he is happy that Brody can bring a smile to students’ faces and help them forget other worries especially while students adapt to new policies.
Exercise science major Tediesia Whyte, junior, said it is a good idea to have Brody on campus.
“They can sniff around and find stuff that is not supposed to be on campus,” she said.
Whyte also said a dog on campus can bring a sense of community.
“The dog is like therapeutic, so it’s a nice to have a dog around too,” she said.
Brody’s day-to-day includes the day shift with Officer Glynn going from call-to-call, the rear door of the police car he rides around in, is inscribed with “BRODY.”
If Brody is not needed on a call, Dooley said he stays in the locked, air-conditioned car. If something happens, there is an alarm in the car to notify him that his protection is needed.
“It’s quite the program,” said Dooley. “I’m excited because it brings a whole new dimension to what we do. We’re very community policing oriented and Brody is just interwoven into what we do on a daily basis.”
According to Dooley, Rahn was a former dog handler and was very helpful in terms of preparing them for what they will need and supplies for Brody going forward.
Rahn said he has also had a positive experience with Brody, and he joked saying he wished Dooley gave Brody to him instead.
“Oh, I love Brody,” he said. “Brody is great. A lot more energy than I initially expected, but what a good dog.”
The training for both the dog and the handler, Dooley said is “critical.” He also said the popularity of canine programs in Connecticut is continuing to increase.
The expense of having a canine dog was covered by a grant according to Dooley and additional costs such as food and vet bills is at a small level in comparison to the benefits that come with having a police dog on the force.
While Brody has a special skill set and additional training, at the end of the day, Dooley said he still behaves like a normal dog.
“Every now and then, Brody will come into my office and go through my trash can. There was a time I left the door open and I found a few things on the floor, so he’s a dog,” said Dooley. “He brings a smile to everybody’s face.”
Photo credit: Isabel Chendwethi