Cobleskill K9's first day on patrol

May 02, 2017 09:20 AM

COBLESKILL -- The first day of work can be tough, but Wilson takes it all in stride. He's Cobleskill's first K9.

We rode along and got to see the team in action.

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Wilson and Officer Chris Sniffen stopped by the school, as they plan to do often. 

"I think there's a lot of excitement," said Cobleskill-Richmondville School Superintendent Carl Mummenthey.  "I mean, it's almost our community pet, but the students recognize that the dog has a very important policing and safety role."

It's police work that also serves to build relationships.

"So the kids are interacting with him and public events here in Cobleskill as well. So he's already been in the public a few times now," said Sniffen.  "Everybody loves dogs. And hopefully, that's going to bring the community closer to us, as law enforcement."

Sniffen and Wilson are available to agencies throughout the county.

Wilson is trained to find narcotics and will be able to track down items and people, not only criminals, but also missing people, or lost children.

It was the community that made this unit possible. The police chief describes the community support as overwhelming.

"Every penny that's been spent on the program so far has been strictly by donation, whether it's money, food, equipment," said Cobleskill Police Chief Rich Bialkowski.  "We were just able to purchase a ballistic vest for the dog.  Everything's been 100 percent donation."

Out on patrol, there's a gauge that monitors the temperature inside the vehicle kennel so the dog stays comfortable.

In keeping with police tradition, the dog was named in honor of a fallen officer, Cobleskill Patrolman Mathew Wilson, who died in the line of duty.

K9 Wilson is part crime-fighter, part ambassador, and ready to spring into action.

"I think it will definitely improve and enhance our capabilities in not only detecting drugs, but deterring them in the first place," said  Bialkowski.  "It's going to be a great community resource for us to be able to forge new relationships with the schools and the general public."


Kumi Tucker

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