These pooches are ready to serve and protect.
Eight newly trained dogs joined the ranks of the MTA Police Department’s Canine Unit at a graduation ceremony held in Grand Central Terminal on Friday.
The German Shepherds and German Shepherd/Belgian Shepherd mixes are around one and half years old, and had to complete an intensive 14-week course with their human police partners, according to the MTA.
They will now be a part of what is believed to be the largest K-9 Unit of its kind in the nation, with 50 dogs in service.
“The MTA PD canines are one of our most valuable resources,” said MTA Police Chief Michael Coan. “Last year, our canine teams responded to over 24,000 calls for service and cleared 2,200 unattended packages while maintaining a watchful presence patrolling our terminals, stations and trains.”
Each dog will work with the human partner it trained with for life and also live with the officer.
The canines are traditionally named after law enforcement officers or armed forces members who have recently lost their lives, and were joined by their namesakes’ families at the graduation ceremony.
These are the names and partners of the eight new canine graduates:
- “Mikey” named in memory of MTA Police Officer Michael Aurisano. (His partner is MTA Police Officer Jason Wharton.)
- “Stiehl” named in memory of MTA Police Lieutenant Kristin Stiehl Murray. (His partner is MTA Police Officer Joseph DeVito.)
- “Glen” named In Memory of NYPD Police Officer Glen Pettit. (His partner is MTA Police Officer James Finn.)
- “George” named in memory of NYPD Police Officer George Wong. (His partner is MTA Police Officer Allan Fong.)
- “Buck” named in memory of Lance Corporal Gregory T. Buckley Jr. of the U.S. Marine Corp. USMC 3rdBattalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune North Carolina. (His partner is MTA Police Officer Joseph Terracciano.)
- “Geo” named In Memory of Staff Sergeant Jorge M. Oliveira of the U.S. Army 2nd Battalion, 113th Infantry Regiment, 50th Brigade Combat Team. (His partner is MTA Police Officer Nelson Hernandez.)
- “Jake” named in memory of Specialist Jacob Fletcher of the U.S. Army Company C, 2nd Battalion Airborne, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, Camp Ederle, Italy. (His partner is MTA Police Officer Richard Johnson.)
- “Matty” named in memory of Specialist Matthew E. Baylis of the U.S. Army 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Division, Fort Carson. (His partner is MTA Police Officer Eric Heimbauer.)