The Point Pleasant Police Department is committed to using the best technology and investigative tools for the safety and security of our town, our residents and our visitors. This includes the use of highly trained police canine teams.
Our K-9 Unit was established in the fall of 2017 with the team of K-9 Officer Travis Popiel and K-9 Juno, a 14 month old male brown and tan German Shepherd from the Czech Republic. Officer Popiel and K-9 Juno completed their training and certification by the New Jersey Police K-9 Association with support of the Camden County Police Academy on January 5, 2018. K-9 Juno is trained and certified in both controlled dangerous substance detection and K-9 patrol operations, such as, locating missing persons, criminal apprehension, building searches and evidence or article searches.
In late February 2018, a second K-9 team was added to the unit. This K-9 team is comprised of K-9 Officer Jeff Johnson and K-9 Kaya, a 15 month old female Belgian Malinois / Shepherd. Officer Johnson and his K-9 partner attended a 14 week long New Jersey State Police canine scent detection school and is certified in explosive and firearm detection. On January 11, 2019, Officer Johnson and his K-9 partner Kaya successfully completed the 18 week NJSP K-9 patrol training school and received certification as a canine patrol response team. Our explosive detection K-9 team is also part of the New Jersey State Police Detect and Render Safe task force. This task force responds to bomb threats and special events throughout the state.
The K-9 unit is part of our Uniform Patrol Division. Officers assigned to the K-9 unit are assigned to patrol shifts with their K-9 partner and handle regular calls for service as well as K-9 related calls for service. Our canines reside with their officer handlers and families. Each officer is provided with a marked patrol vehicle that is specially equipped to house and transport their K-9 partner. The officers and K-9 partners are required to respond to calls for service as necessary when off-duty.
Our appreciation goes to Dr. Caesar DePaço and his wife Deanna of Summit Nutritionals Inc. who graciously donated our two canines and K-9 body armor for K-9 Juno and K-9 Kaya.