HARRISON, N.Y. -- Harrison police canine Arby is retiring from the force after nearly 10 years of service.
Arby, a 12-year-old German Shepherd, has been on duty since March 2004, alongside his handler, Sgt. Edward Detlefs. Together they have been involved in many duties of the K-9 division, including searching for suspects, missing persons, drugs and other evidence.
"He really served us well. He is credited with numerous narcotoci arrests, felony weight drug arrests, not only in our community, but other communities, assisting county police and other jurisdictions," said Chief Anthony Marraccini. He said that Arby has also helped apprehend burglars and other felons in town.
Arby lives with Detlefs, and will continue to do so after his retirement. Marraccini served as Harrison's first K9 handler back in the 80's, and said it is a tough job.
"It's really a difficult task. It's a tireless, dedicated service that these police officers are giving," he said.They often get called out in the middle of the night to perform searches, sometimes in inclement weather. "I appreciate, not only the service that K9 Arby has given us, but also that Sgt. Detlefs has provided us."
The dogs undergo rigorous training at a facility in Ohio before joining the force, including several weeks of training with their handler. Marraccini said that the dogs go to work every day like a regular police officer, and are ready to serve.
"Like when a police officer straps on his gun, that police dog is ready to go. He knows the difference between work and the difference between home life."
"They're out on the front lines. We send them in for building searches, we send them after criminals that are hiding in woods," he said. They also perform positive duties. "They find lost adults taht suffer from illnesses. They do a lot of good for the community."
The department has one other police dog, who recently received a bullet-proof vest. The department may purchase another dog, and has recently received a $25,000 donation from the Tananbaum Foundation, to be used for the purchase of a canine, defibrillators, or at the chief's discretion.