Dogs aspiring to K-9 unit receive vigorous training

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Climbing the ranks of police departments across the Hudson Valley requires rigorous training. And it?s no different if you happen to have four legs.

The Yonkers Police Department puts its prospective K-9 dogs through intensive training to assess their fitness for the job. The dogs of the K-9 unit are seen as partners by their handlers - a thinking, working part of the police department.

In a field at Richard P. Connor Elementary School in Suffern Thursday, drugs were planted in some cars while other vehicles were bugged with explosives for the training.

Cops say the training gives the dogs a good foundation for day-to-day police work.Yonkers Police Officer Mike O'Brien has worked with K-9 Bruno for three years. Bruno is credited with making a recent drug bust in the city.

?Last month Bruno located a hidden wall in Yonkers,? says O?Brien, about a concealed area where 14 kilos of cocaine were discovered. ?[Bruno] located it by scratching and alerting me to the presence of the odor."

The monthly training meeting is sponsored by the U.S. Police Canine Association and Thursday?s activities were hosted by the Suffern Police Department.

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