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Hamden SportsBeat: Top Dogs

Are canines athletes? Absolutely. Quick, agile, and fearless, they help law enforcement officials apprehend suspects and search for drugs.

Hamden SportsBeat: Top Dogs Hamden SportsBeat: Top Dogs Hamden SportsBeat: Top Dogs Hamden SportsBeat: Top Dogs Hamden SportsBeat: Top Dogs Hamden SportsBeat: Top Dogs Hamden SportsBeat: Top Dogs Hamden SportsBeat: Top Dogs Hamden SportsBeat: Top Dogs Hamden SportsBeat: Top Dogs

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The Top 10 canines in the Patch area.

10. ROSCOE (Stratford) An 8-year veteran of the Stratford Police Department, Roscoe is the oldest of the three members of the K-9 unit. The German shepherd is handled by Officer Robert Joy. Roscoe has tracked the suspects he's the last of whom was a man hiding the in the bushes after fleeing from a domestic violence incident. 

Recent achievement: Helped police who hid after fleeing on foot.

9. DARO (East Haven) Last June, Daro was laid off after budget cuts forced the East Hamden Police Department to drop its K-9 unit. in January and the 5-year old German shepherd paid immediate dividends. Originally acquired by the department from the Czech Republic, Daro is a popular figure in East Haven.

Recent achievement: In January,after tracking his footprints in the snow. Daro's handler is officer Dave Cari.

8. VANE (Naugatuck) A 2-year old German shepherd, Vane weighs in at 65 lbs. and is one of the most talented and versatile canines in the state. Last July, Vane and handler, Officer Ian Kosky, finished Olympics. Vane has been trained in apprehension and evidence recovery.

Recent achievement: of a 75-year old man that were buried in the snow after the man suffered a fall on ice.

 7. ZIRA (New Canaan) in November of 2010 and has made a significant contribution to the police department. One of just four females in K-9 units throughout the state, Zira has been trained in narcotics detection, specifically for marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine. The German shepherd from the Czech Republic is five years old and is handled by Officer Michael McFadden.

Recent achievement:in vehicle of a Stamford motorist leading to a felony drug charge.

 6. CYRUS (Trumbull) Cyrus is the Department has employed in close to 10 years, arriving for duty last August. Imported from a breeder in Hungary, Cyrus has been trained in tracking, handler protection, and evidence recovery. His handler is Officer R.J. Carlson.

Recent achievement: Cyrus tracked down man who allegedly robbed a

5. LIBERTY (Monroe) of the Monroe Police Department and used to team with the legendary German shepherd, Justice, to form a spectacular team. Dennis Bradshaw, a longtime law enforcement official, is responsible for making Monroe's K-9 team one of the best in the state.

Recent achievement: Liberty helped locate two boys who were missing.

4. TITAN (Hamden) A member of the Hamden Police force, Titan is a 6-year old German shepherd who has been cross-trained in explosives and searches. His handler is officer Jason Venditto and they are considered one of the best K-9 teams in the state. In 2010, they finished second runner-up for the prestigious Daniel Wasson Memorial K-9 Award.

Recent achievement: suspect who fled into wooded area and hid from police.

3. LOLA (Westport) who specialized in tracking and narcotics detection, Lola retired after 10 years with the Wesport Police in February. According to the department, Lola, who is 12-years old, helped officers make more than 1,000 arrests. She was trained in narcotics detention, tracking, building searches, and handler protection. 

Recent achievement: who were in pursuit of a suspect who had an outstanding warrant on him. The man fled into a wooded area but Lola located him and was arrested without incident.

2.  JUDGE (Milford) With the Milford Police and his handler, Officer Matthew Lima, since 2005, Judge is beautiful German shepherd trained in patrol and narcotics detection. Judge and Lima have represented Connecticut in "Top Dog", a national K-9 competition. in the 2011 event.

Recent achievement: who fled from police and was hiding inside a vehicle.

1. CZAR (Norwalk) The Belgium shepherd arrived in Norwalk in 2010 and it didn't take long for him to become a superstar for the police department. In Czar's first month on the job, he tracked down a double-murder suspect in a dangerous area after being lowered from a 15-foot rock ledge. Last June, a man with two knives attacked Sgt. Fred Reda and Czar protected his handler by biting the attacker in the abdomen. The attacker knifed Czar in the tongue and muzzle, but the canine survived and went back to work. Czar and Reda won the 2010 Daniel Wasson K-9 Memorial Award presented to the best K-9 team in Connecticut.

Recent achievement: who left his vehicle and fled to a neighborhood in Norwalk where he hid from police.

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