UConn hosts 20th Annual Police K-9 Olympics
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Mansfield - posted Tue., Jul. 26, 2011
The Connecticut Police K-9 Olympics turned 20 this year. Twenty years ago, a few UConn Police officers got together with their canine partners for a friendly competition. The 2011 K-9 Olympics drew a total of 32 teams from all over Connecticut to UConn’s Depot Campus. Teams from the Department of Corrections, state and local departments competed in a number of different events, including criminal apprehension, obstacle and tactical obedience. Brought back this year were two events that haven’t been part of the competition in recent years. The box search required dogs to locate a target within a group of boxes. In the range event, teams were required to navigate a course while firing blanks.
During the obstacle course, the water pit was the first feature faced by teams. While many of the dogs had to be coaxed in, most of the officers seemed to relish the opportunity for a cool dip while competing in the midst of a heat wave. One team proved to be the exception to the rule. Dan Mauriello from the Waterbury Police Department and his partner, Edy, drew laughs from spectators when Edy was repeatedly distracted from his duties by the water pit. More than once, Officer Mauriello was forced to retrieve his happily swimming canine partner.
Dan Murray from the Department of Corrections and his dog, Brady, were named Most Experienced K-9 Team for 2011. Earning the top marks for Range were Willimantic Police Officer Paul Hussey and his dog, Z. Awarded the top score in the Box category was DOC Officer Elito Rodriguez and his dog, Ricky. DOC Officer Tom Huckins and his dog, Duke, earned the top score for Criminal Apprehension. In the Obstacle category, Manchester officer Rich Boyle took the top spot with his dog, Marco. Connecticut State Trooper Nick Leary and his dog, Max, took the top positon in Tactical Obedience. The top team in K-9 Obedience was South Windsor Police Officer Christina Mazzoccoli and her dog, Bobby. In the category of Top K-9 Overall, there were three awards: third place, DOC Officer Josh Trifone and his dog, Apollo; second place, Manchester Police Officer Rob Johnson and his dog, Dibbs; first place, DOC Officer Rob Sabourin and his dog, Blade.