Officer Don Jones & K-9 Rocky
In 1992, as crime increased over the years, and America's drug problems grew, there became a need for the police department to have immediate access to a police dog trained to detect various illegal substances. The Guilderland Police obtained a two year old rottweiler named Gunther that was donated by Pine Bush Kennel and Officer Dean Spadaro was chosen to be the department's first K-9 handler. Gunther's name was changed to Dutch to reflect the Guilderland's Dutch heritage. Dutch was trained and certified in tracking missing and wanted persons, and detection of illegal drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine and other advanced narcotics. He served the department for six years until January 18, 1998, when he died of heart failure.
In 1999, after nearly a year and a half without a police dog, the Guilderland Police obtained a Czechoslovakian German Shepherd named Niko. Officer Don Jones was chosen to be Niko's handler. Like his predecessor, Niko was trained in handler protection, drug detection, and tracking. Niko was also responsible for numerous arrests during his career which ended on August 27, 2007, when he died following a short battle with cancer.
In October 2007, the police department obtained a puppy in an effort to continue it's K-9 program. The two month old Sable German shepherd was donated by Dr. David Wolfe of Shaker Veterinary Hospital and Tony and Kris Vogt of Westmere. It was chosen from a litter of ten puppies reared from Wolfe's male and Vogt's female shepherd. The puppy was named "Rocky" by students in the GAPS (Guilderland Animal Protection Society) program at Farnsworth Middle School. Officer Jones has continued in the role of K-9 handler with the department. In January 2009, Rocky completed training and certification in protection, narcotics and tracking and is now on patrol.
GPD Past K-9's