Police department celebrates K-9 Niko Day at senior center
By Calla Vassilopoulos - Staff Writer
Enfield - posted Mon., May. 20, 2013
The first K-9 Officer to join the force since the Enfield Police Department reinstated the K-9 Unit in 2005, retired after seven years with the program. A retirement party for K-9 Officer Niko, was held May 10 at the Enfield Senior Center to celebrate his achievements and dedication.
Enfield Mayor Scott R. Kaupin proclaimed May 10, 2013, as K-9 Niko Day in the town of Enfield as a way to recognize the officer for his commitment and service to the program. “Niko is recognized as a loyal, loving and devoted K-9 officer who would not hesitate to place himself at harm’s way to save the life of his partner,” said Kaupin.
Officer Niko, a German shepard, was shipped to the United States from the Czech Republic and purchased, untrained, through the Connecticut K-9 Services in Bethany, Conn., in 2005 to serve as a police dog for the EPD. When Niko joined the department as a 2-year-old pup he would often go to Enfield Police Chief Carl Sferrazza for his daily intake of “people food” salad and pepperoni, which is all he kept in his office, according to the Chief.
“Some may question the validity of having a ceremony for a dog, but you know what? We love this dog, and the people in this community love this dog. So I would say it would be criminal for us not to have a ceremony for our friend Niko,” said Sferrazza.
Shortly after Officer Niko’s arrival to EPD, he began training with handler Officer Christopher Moylan, the officer responsible for the research and development required to reestablish the K-9 Unit in Enfield. The duo graduated in 2006 from the 121st Connecticut State Police Training Troop – a 10-week police dog training program. After some work in the field, the pair continued on to the 126th CT State Police Narcotics Detection Class, which they graduated from in 2007, making Niko a dual trained police dog in patrol and narcotics.
Since then, Officer Niko has contributed to more than 300 arrests, including more than 71 narcotic arrests, as well as nearly 200 narcotic fines and approximately 21 apprehensions. Niko has also helped the detective bureau execute search warrants throughout the years.
“It’s a big commitment between you, your dog, and your family. It is a 24/7 job whether you’re working or not,” said Moylan. “It was a pleasure doing it and I would do it all over again if I could.”
Moylan has also retired from the program, due to a back injury incurred while training with another dog. As a patrol officer, Moylan will continue to assist the program and its six officers - Officers Croteau and Promise (K-9), Officers Worden and Falco (K-9), and the newest duo, replacing Officers Moylan and Niko, Officers Dufresne and Bruin (K-9). As for Niko, he will enjoy the remainder of his time at the home of his former partner, Officer Moylan.