K-9 Cops Get a New Tool to Keep Commuters and Travelers Safe

Lauren Collier on Pet Life Radio

On this episode of My Dog Digs Dirt join me for an insider's look at the very first Mass-Transit K-9 Training center in the United States.

This amazing facility , located in Stormville New York, features 72 acres with multiple indoor-and outdoor training areas, obstacle courses, classrooms, and kennels, designed to provide MTA Police with an unlimited number of scenarios to teach, drill , test and train our Brave K-9 Cops. My guest is MTA Lt. John Kerwick , president of the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) and Tactical Commander of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Canine Unit in New York City.

K-9 Cops on Pet Life Radio


John Kerwick serves as the President of the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) and is the Tactical Commander of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Canine Unit in New York City, which is also the largest mass transit canine unit in the United States.

Lt. Kerwick is responsible for the day to day management, motivation and long term operations of a fifty team K-9 Unit that is deployed throughout the New York City metropolitan area. He also communicates regularly with federal, state and local agencies to gather intelligence regarding acts of terrorism, to identify current explosive trends and then implements those issues into current training practices.

As the President of the USPCA, Lt. Kerwick meets regularly with other local and federal canine units. “We help them train and certify their teams in such areas as patrol, narcotic detection, explosive detection and locating missing persons,” he says. “We work very hard to make sure all of the law enforcement canine teams in New York are as proficient and professional as possible.”
When it comes down to preventing terrorism, catching criminals and finding illegal contraband Lt Kerwick says “In dogs we trust”.         

Lt. Kerwick also serves on the FBI-DHS sponsored Scientific Working Group on Dog and Orthogonal detector Guidelines (SWGDOG) and the National Explosive Dog Canine Advisory Board (NEDCAB).  Along with other members of global law enforcement, attorneys and scientists from around the world, he helps establish consensus based best practices to optimize the use of detector dog teams.

During his twenty eight years’ experience in handling police canines, Lt Kerwick has made numerous arrests, found many weapons.  In 1997 he and his partner “Spike” stopped a person from setting fire to a crowded commuter train in the Bronx.  During that event canine “Spike” was injured by the offender but returned to duty in time to see him off go to prison.

Lt Kerwick’s current canine partner is named “SeaBee” in honor the NYPD ESU Police Officer Stephen Driscoll who was killed in the line of duty during the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center Disaster.