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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Fort lee NJ, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey welcomed five officers and their canines to the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) K-9 unit in a graduation ceremony held today at Newark Liberty International Airport. Canines Mag, Bruce, Mimmo, Stuey and Amo were named in honor of fallen 9/11 PAPD officers.

The five newly trained teams of officers and canines successfully completed the PAPD’s 14-week training course for certification in explosives and narcotics detection. PAPD also trained two members of the Morris County Sheriff’s Department to become a K-9 trainer and K-9 handler. PAPD’s K-9 unit train handlers and canines on an as-needed basis.

The five canine graduates range from 1 to 2 years of age. The four German Shepherds and one Belgian Malinois, along with their human handlers, will patrol various Port Authority facilities in explosive and narcotics detection capacities.

“The addition of these K-9 teams further enhances the agency’s public safety initiatives we provide for the millions of people who use our transportation facilities,” said Port Authority Police Superintendent Edward Cetnar. “We are honored to receive the blessings of the fallen officers’ families to name these canine officers after their loved ones.”

December 2022 PAPD K-9 Team Graduates:

Police Officer Kevin Gallagher and 2-year-old German Shepard mix Mag, who was named after Police Officer David LeMagne. LeMagne died on 9/11 while a part of a human chain evacuating the North Tower.

Police Officer Sean Lynch and 1-year-old German Shepard mix Bruce, who was named after Police Officer Bruce Reynolds. Reynolds died on 9/11 performing rescue efforts for the South Tower.

Police Officer Gary Zintl and 1-year-old German Shepard mix Mimmo, who was named after Police Officer Dominick Pezzulo. Pezzulo died on 9/11 after freeing his two colleagues from fallen debris.

Police Officer Kirk Kouzis and 2-year-old German Shepard Stuey, who was named after Police Officer Walwyn Stuart. Stuart died on 9/11 performing rescue efforts for the North Tower.

Police Officer John Adams and 2-year-old Belgian Malinois Amo, who was named after Police Officer Christopher Amoroso. Amoroso died on 9/11 after leading several people to safety from the lower levels of the North Tower.

The Port Authority’s K-9 unit was created in 1984. The agency began training detection canines in 1993, after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Since the start of the agency’s training program, 128 teams have been trained in either explosive or narcotic detection for this specialized unit. The narcotic detection canine teams are certified and highly trained canines who respond in a timely matter to Port Authority police operations to reduce the transportation of drugs in the metropolitan area. The highly trained explosive detection canine teams function as a deterrent to terrorism directed towards transportation systems and work collaboratively with federal, state, and local partners. One of the most well-known members of the PAPD K-9 team was K-9 Sirius, who was killed during the 9/11 attack at the World Trade Center.

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