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Talk about Blue’s Clues.
In a matter of 10 days, a Suffolk police dog named Blue and his handler, Officer John Mallia, successfully discovered abandoned human remains in separate, prominent cases in Suffolk: the four still-unidentified bodies wrapped in burlap and dumped as long as two years ago off Ocean Parkway in Gilgo Beach, and Nicole Tessa, of Patchogue, who was found in the woods near her home.
Whether they’re searching for cadavers or hidden criminals, the duo takes their job seriously, always striving to train and bond and hone their craft.
Two Suffolk police officers helped save the life of a retired NYPD officer who was suffering from a heart attack in a Huntington bank on Friday.
Officer Anthony Leo responded to a Wachovia bank branch where bank employees were administering CPR to Brian Lynch, 49, of Smithtown, at approximately 9 a.m. Leo and Officer David Weymouth used an automatic external defibrillator to revive Lynch, who was in cardiac arrest.
Lynch, who retired one year ago from the NYPD and now works for Wachovia, was taken to Huntington Hospital for treatment.
All the dogs came at once.
The police department had gone years without a K9 unit, until the mid 2000s, when it acquired six German shepherds.
They’re all close in age, and they’ll all reach retirement about the same time, said Maj. Larry Wilson. With a working life of about eight years, that’s not too far off.
Which is why Wilson was already thinking about a replacement when the phone call came.
“It was uncanny,” he said, “how it worked out.”
Milk-Bone and Farm Fresh were offering Suffolk police a $5,000 donation toward the purchase of a new police dog. The canines cost about $6,000 with basic training, Wilson said. The gift, part of Milk-Bone Canine Heroes Program, would just about cover it.
The Suffolk Police K9 Unit accepted the donation in a ceremony last week at Farm Fresh on Bridge Road.
Wilson said the department will start its search for a canine in early 2010.
Three of the dogs and their police officer handlers work downtown. The other three work out of northern Suffolk, Wilson said. Four of them are trained to sniff out drugs; two are explosive-trained. All can track people and search buildings.
Milk-Bone has donated more than 850 police and service dogs since it partnered with the nonprofit Canine Assistants in 1997, according to the city.
“We’re extremely grateful for the donation and that we were selected,” Wilson said.
By Kristin Davis