There's a new member of the who happens to shed all over his partner's uniform while the two are out patrolling the streets. Enzo, a 22-month-old German shepherd joined Officer Steven Rangel just about a month ago and is the department's new police dog.
"I've had dogs my whole life. It's something I really enjoy," Rangel said about taking Enzo into his care. "[Becoming a canine officer] is something I always wanted to do, but I never thought I'd actually get the chance."
When the department, which hasn't had a police dog in over 15 years according to Captain John Lynch, wanted to revive its ride-along program, it reached out to New Milford Police Officer Bill Scribner, who breeds dogs for police departments across the state. Enzo came to the department knowing basic commands and, starting in early September, will receive training in capturing suspects, locating missing people and drug detection.
"Enzo's obedient, but he still a puppy," Rangel said. "And having him at home is different from having a family pet. You can't just give him treats and toys whenever you want. He has to work for it and earn it because that's what keeps him going. Why bother finding drugs if he's going to get rewarded anyway?"