NORWICH – The Norwich City Police Department has welcomed its new drug detection K-9 unit which can now be seen patrolling the streets after the dog earned national certification in late October.
Norwich Police Officer and handler Brandon Clarke and his canine, Weeks, started routine duty for the department Oct. 22.
“There’s not doubt in my mind we’re already having an effect. Just having the dog out in public view creates a level of deterrence. People who are routinely involved with illegal drug activity are well aware of the dog’s crime fighting capabilities,” said Clarke.
Clarke and Weeks completed a six-week training course at the Progressive K-9 Academy in Walnutport, Pa. before being tested by the National Police Canine Association and officially certified.
Norwich Police Chief Joseph Angelino said he opted to have the canine unit certified with the national association to avoid a delay in its availability, explaining that New York’s certification testing wouldn’t have been available until later in the year.