The Brick Township Police Department has a new officer on the job: K-9 Duke, a 20 month-old Dutch Shepherd who graduated with handler Patrolman Paul Catalina May 17 from the Toms River Police Department Canine Academy.
The K-9 academy is a vigorous 16 week school where the handlers and dogs, working as a team, are trained in criminal apprehension, crowd control, tracking, building searches, article searches, obedience and agility, said Capt. Robert Mazza.
Duke is the 15th canine placed in service with the Brick department, and came to Brick from Holland, where he was born. Duke lives with Catalina when the two are not on patrol.
Catalina has now become the department's 12th K-9 officer. He has been a member of the department since Dec. 2006 and has been a law enforcement officer since 2002, Mazza said. He was chosen for the K-9 unit in late 2012 and now joins officers Keith Prendeville and Dan Fogarty as the third member of the K-9 unit, which is supervised by Sgt. Steven Gerling, who retired his K-9, Cody, after 10 years of service.
Duke is now patrol certified and will be working the 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. shift, Mazza said.
Along with Catalina, Duke is scheduled to go to K-9 narcotics school later this year.