ALBANY – Eleven K-9 teams graduated from the New York State Police academy this week; including two who will patrol in Western New York.
Trooper Randall Shenefiel and Canine Arry will soon hit the streets. Trooper Shenefiel said it was always a dream of his to be a K-9 officer.
“I was a police officer before and when I first started out that (being a K-9 officer) was a big thing,” said Shenefiel.
Shenefiel said the hardest part of the academy was getting in physical shape.
“This time last year they told me that they didn’t know if I could ever use my right arm again,” explained Shenefiel. “To get in shape for the PT test it took a lot.”
“I had a great surgeon and a great physical therapist; we set a goal and achieved that goal.”
Arry is named in honor of New York State Police Sergeant Harry A. Adams who was tuck by an automobile and killed while directing traffic at the scene of a hit and run accident on Sawyer Road in the Town of Carlton on September 1, 1951.
Instructors said the canines and their handlers underwent 20 weeks of training at the New York State Police Canine Training Facility located in Cooperstown.
The other K-9 team that will be stationed in Western New York is Trooper Joshua Roth and Canine Buck.
During the teams received instruction in basic obedience, agility, handler protection, building searches, explosive or narcotic detection, tracking for fugitives and lost or missing persons, basic veterinary care and land navigation and grid searches.
Currently statewide there are 207 State Police Canine units, including those who graduated this week.
During the first five months of 2019, the Division Canine Unit responded to more than 4,100 calls for service.
Troopers said the dogs are donated through the generosity of breeders, private individuals, and humane societies.
All canines are put through extensive testing and evaluation prior to assignment in the Canine Basic Handler’s School. State Police canines are named after members who have died in the line of duty.