FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT K9 OFFICERS VISIT DEVER–MCCORMACK MIDDLE SCHOOL
Two officers from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department K9 Unit visited with students in several summer programs, including the English Language Learners Summer Enrichment Academy (ELLSEA), at the Dever–McCormack school in the Harbor Point section of Dorchester.
Sheriff’s Department Corporal Robert Connelly presented his partner Simba, a yellow Labrador retriever that is used in narcotics detection, and Sergeant Corey Lewis also showcased his partner Kam, a German shepherd that is used in patrol and narcotics detection.
Approximately fifty students, attending from programs administered to 3rd through 9th grades, watched the dogs perform in the ball field beside the Boston middle school. ELLSEA coordinator and McCormack Special Education Teacher Mercedes Orozco brought her students along with some students in the Summer Scholars program. Attendees thoroughly enjoyed the K9 demonstration and later, many hands were raised to ask the Sheriff’s Department Officers countless questions about the dogs and the work that they do in the Department.
“The kids and I really enjoyed learning about the difference between working dogs and pets, how police dogs are trained, and what skills the dogs have that help the police officers do their jobs,” said Ms. Orozco.
Students engrossed in the K9 demonstration watched the dogs take orders from their handlers and saw Simba search for hidden narcotics within a bunch of boxes laid out on the ground. One 3rd grader had this to say about his talent, “His nose has a keen way of finding drugs.” Another female student commented, “He is brave and his nose is so good he can sense drugs.” She followed her comment by offering an important lesson for us all, “Drugs are for bad people.”
After Simba’s narcotics searching demonstration, Sgt. Lewis brought out his partner Kam. With assistance from Cpl. Connelly, they performed a criminal apprehension demonstration for the students. Cpl. Connelly put on a special outfit including a protective sleeve for his arm and took off running across the field. After yelling a few orders for him to stop, Sgt. Lewis ordered Kam to apprehend him. The children watched in awe as Kam caught up to Cpl. Lewis and restrained his arm. He didn’t let go of his grip until Sgt. Lewis caught up to them and told him to release. “I think the officer was brave to show us the demonstration,” said one 3rd grade boy. “He was so cool going after the bad guy,” said another student.
Reflecting on the presentation that both officers and their partners showed her students, Ms. Orozoco has this to say, “The students were excited to watch the dogs find contraband and attack a ‘bad guy.’”
“The students also really enjoyed getting a chance to pet one of the dogs,” continued Ms. Orozco in reference to Cpl. Connelly’s dog Simba, who made a second guest appearance to greet the children.