Rocky, a 23 month old Labrador/pit mix, is now on the job for the Danbury Police Department. The K9 officer is partnered with Sgt James Antonelli, who also serves as the K9 Unit Supervisor. Danbury also has two German Shepherds on the force; Zeke and Koda.
Rocky was purchased with part of a $100,000 donation from the Gleszer estate through Renbar Kennels in New Milford. He cost $9,000 which is slightly less than the German Shepherds cost, and that included the price for training.
Rocky has been assigned to the Community Conditions Unit and will be used in narcotics investigations. He is trained to detect marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines. Rocky is expected to be on the force for about 10 years.
All of the cruisers have a K9 insert, so the backseat comes out and they have the whole area. It's heat monitored and if the temperature gets too hot a siren will go off. A pager will alert the officer. For the patrol dogs, there is a door popper in case the officer needs it.
Chief Ridenhour says they are looking to use some of the donated funds for a third patrol dog so that there can be one on each shift. He says the German Shepherds are "jack of all trades" and good for crowd control, community's relations and are very protective of their handlers.
Mayor Mark Boughton says the school children like seeing the police K9 so Sgt. Antonelli will do some demonstrations once Rocky gets settled into a routine.
The Gleszers lived in Danbury and donated to other departments as well. They also have to seeing eye dogs and comfort & therapy dogs.