Dog from Slovakia joins NYC police unit

He helps police in New York intercept terrorists before they attack.

A police dog being trained.A police dog being trained. (Source: Courtesy of Canispol )

The New York Police Department has a new special unit of four police dogs from Europe, including Slovakia, to find potential suicide bombers and other terrorists, The New York Times wrote.

The four dogs – Franky, Rob, Rowland, and Eddie – were assigned to the streets of New York for the first time on Thanksgiving Day, after tough training.

Their task is to sniff for a bomb hundreds of metres away, detect a bomber, and prevent an attack from happening at mass events such as concerts, parades, and sports events.

“It gives us a little bit more reaction time, and it gives us a bigger perimeter of safety,” Chief James R. Waters, the commander of the Police Department’s counterterrorism division, told The New York Times.

Police in New York decided to get the trained dogs after the 2015 and 2016 attacks in Paris and the 2017 attack in Manchester happened. When analysing the attacks, investigators learned terrorists were waiting for the right moment. During this moment, dogs should be able to detect the attacker.

With flying colours

A recognised training centre in Florida came up with the idea to train dogs for this task.

The New York Police Department has purchased four specially trained dogs, each for $50,000. They have been assigned to various events, but the parade on Thanksgiving day was the biggest yet. James. R Waters admitted to The New York Times this was a real test for these dogs as Times Square is chaotic and overcrowded.

“The dogs passed with flying colours,” Waters told The New York Times.

Special training for dogs

The dogs received a six month-long basic training, in which they got trained in standard obedience and identifying explosives. Then, they trained for another 16 weeks with their new handlers.

“The handlers give them commands in Dutch, Czech and Slovak, in a nod to their origins: The dogs are bred in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Slovakia,” The New York Times wrote.

The commander of counterterrorism division added that while handlers want to prevent the attack, dogs think of one thing only – a reward, which can be either meat or a toy.

“They don’t know they’re sniffing for black powder, TNT and ammonium nitrate,” said Waters, as quoted by The New York Times. “All they know is, ‘this is what you trained me to smell for, give me my toy, give me my reward.”

Police dogs from Slovakia are very common in the USA.

Read more about training the Slovak dogs here.

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