Last night, Upper East Siders had the pleasure of socializing with the 19th Precinct’s police dogs and their NYPD handlers at the precinct’s monthly community meeting.
We learned a lot about the canine members of the NYPD. There are 110 of them across the city, and they come from special breeders in Europe, notably the Czech Republic. Police dogs are mostly German Shepherds or Belgian Malinois.
The dogs are trained to sniff out bombs, look for victims in collapsed buildings, locate suspects and protect their police companions. And though they are trained to be aggressive, their human colleagues eventually start taking them home at night, where the dogs romp with children.
We know we’re not supposed to pet working dogs. But with the affable Chico, that took super-human discipline. Chico the police dog resembles Rin Tin Tin, only handsomer.