Monmouth County Sheriff’s Officer Michael DeLuca and his K-9 Leo, who is a two year old German shepherd, graduated from the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office Canine Training Academy on May 11, following 34 weeks of intense training in explosive detection and patrol. They now form another dynamic duo in the MCSO.

“I’m grateful to the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office for providing Leo and me with this great opportunity," S/O Michael DeLuca said. "K-9s are a valuable tool when it comes to fighting crime. I’m proud to be a part of our explosive detection team, specializing in response when dealing with potentially dangerous situations."

They met all the requirements during the training camp which falls under the State of New Jersey Office of Attorney General guidelines.

The four K-9 graduate teams, who trained through tracking scent and patrol, had two explosive/patrol teams, one narcotics/patrol team and one narcotics team.

All four of the teams trained in vacant buildings, lots and offices as well as the Situation Training and Response Simulator, STARS, facility in Freehold and focused on case law, crime scene preservation, basic obedience, agility, environmental training and socialization with crowds.

“It’s an honor to welcome this highly trained K-9 team to our unit. S/O DeLuca and his partner Leo will prove to be a great asset to Monmouth County and local police departments,” Sheriff Shaun Golden said. “K-9 teams are extremely essential when it comes to bolstering homeland security capabilities by playing a vital role in protecting our county against criminal and terroristic threats, combatting the proliferation of drugs, as well as assisting in the apprehension of suspects.”

The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit currently has seven handlers and eight K-9s and includes two explosive/patrol teams, three narcotics/patrol teams, one explosive team, one narcotics team and one tracking team.

They are called into duty year-round to assist local police departments with narcotics detection, explosive detection and criminal or missing person searches.

In 2017, the K-9 Unit responded to 225 explosive detection calls, 270 tracking calls and 219 narcotics calls, according to the MCSO.

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