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Suffolk police add two new dogs to canine section

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini, with canine

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini, with canine police officer Thomas Teufel and his partner Maverick, at police headquarters in Yaphank on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2016. Credit: James Carbone

Suffolk County police’s latest recruits are bringing top notch speed and skill to their jobs — plus some wagging tails for good measure.

Officials announced Wednesday the addition of two police dogs, a pair of European-bred German shepherds. Dallas V and Maverick were added to the force about a month ago, police Commissioner Timothy Sini said, and are beginning the first stage of training.

“The purpose of our canine section is to assist the entire police department,” Sini said. “They are an invaluable asset to the Suffolk police department, but they aren’t just an asset — they are part of our family.”

The dogs are being raised by their police “partners.” Officer Thomas Teufel named his 19-month-old dog Maverick, a choice made with the help of his children, and Officer Kenneth Michaels named his new 15-month-old partner Dallas V.

The name “Dallas” is an apt one, Sini said. The dogs joined the police force shortly after five police officers were shot and killed in that Texas city on July 7.

“We have to remember the sacrifice and danger our police officers take on,” Sini said. “Dallas V is a visual reminder of the sacrifice, of the bravery of those five officers.”

Canines typically help the department find evidence they might not otherwise see, locate suspects and provide a point of connection with the community, as county residents enjoy meeting the dogs, Sini said.

The dogs will complete several training courses through November and eventually be placed into one of three areas depending on the skills they display: drug detection, explosives detection or human remains detection, said Canine Section Lt. Brian Coltellino.

But regardless of specialty, it all comes down to one very important feature, he said.

“The most important part of the dog is on the very front of him and that’s his nose,” he said. “When we select these dogs, that’s what we’re looking for.”

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