Friday, August 30, 2013

The Bomb-Sniffing Dog Has Legs

Two weeks ago, when grant consultant John "Duke" Duchessi told the Common Council Economic Development Committee that he was working on a grant application to get a bomb-sniffing dog for the Hudson Police Department, it seemed like a bad idea induced by Homeland Security paranoia and the lure of free federal money. John Mason reports in today's Register-Star that, on Monday, HPD chief L. Edward Moore pitched the same idea to the Police Committee: "City looks to get bomb-sniffing dog." It was reported that, in making the case for a bomb-sniffing dog, Moore stressed "the ability of canines to break down barriers in the community," suggesting that "people like to interact with dogs."

The totally unscientific, anecdotal evidence of someone who has walked a big dog in Hudson for the past fourteen years suggests otherwise. Back in the day when the HPD had a K-9 unit, it was not uncommon to encounter kids--and adults--who reacted to a large dog with irrational, hysterical terror. When the K-9 unit was eliminated in 2007, those kinds of encounters tapered off and now rarely happen. Post hoc ergo propter hoc? Maybe . . . or maybe not.


  1. You've got a bomb dog up the street at the sheriff's office and the NYSP have resources such that the chief will ask them "to donate and train the dog." Alternatively, that seems to indicate they're available to provide mutual aid if and when needed. I would think that, if a K-9 unit was a priority, one might look for a drug dog for narcotics interdiction at the Amtrak station.

  2. Seconded, WH.

    And to underline your argument, the HPD response to the city's lack of a drug-sniffing K-9 unit is that, when needed, the city borrows these specific dogs from the county.

    At least that's what the Lieutenant told me a year and a half ago.


  3. Here's a little revelation: long before being a union bricklayer, restoration contactor and, now, historic preservationist, I was engaged in a different line of work. After earning a B.Sc. in criminal justice at Auburn I was hired by the Department of Justice as a Deputy US Marshal. That's how I ended up in NY from Boston.

    I started and ran a violent crimes fugitive task force and had the opportunity to work with a variety of agencies in the process. Fantastic life experience, to say the least. So I like to think I know a thing or two when it comes to law enforcement and related issues.

    When we produced individuals in the WitSec program and/or had high threat moves we relied on the NYSP for bomb dogs, tactical support, etc. The marshal I served under was a retired NYSP inspector and tight with John Curry ( ... I bet the chief has similar connections.

  4. ...must be Rin Tin Tin for sixty grand and twenty grand a year for maintenance.