PIX11 Morning News

Inside look at the Port Authority K-9 unit

Some of the most trusted officers in the Port Authority Police Department are the ones with four legs. There are 46 dogs working in their K9 unit.

Sgt. Tom Hering says that they look for smart, high energy dogs that love to play.

Bomb sniffing dogs spend at least 14 weeks training to recognize the smell of explosives.

“When they find something, they go into a sit.  After they sit, the handler will reward them with a rubber cong,” says Hering.

The dogs work 8 hour shifts with their handlers.

“He’s my partner, I spent more time with him in a day than everybody else.   He’s my best friend,” said   Officer Kevin Rotolo, a Port Authority K9 handler who has been working with his dog Max for the last four years.

Officer Michael Valentine works with a chocolate lab named Benny.

“We try to train 250 minutes a month, around that, on aircraft, terminals, trains, vehicle search, and luggage search,” says Valentine.

All of the dogs go home with their handlers but Rotolo says that when they are on duty, there’s no petting the animals because they are busy working.

“He’s a great worker.  All he wants to do is work, that’s why he doesn’t like to sit still, he’s always ready to go,” said Rotolo.

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