Have you ever wondered exactly what the phrase "Working like a dog" means? Well, Kevin Boulier, of the Connecticut State Police Troop I in Bethany can certainly explain.

Have you ever wondered exactly what the phrase "Working like a dog" means? Well, Kevin Boulier, of the Connecticut State Police Troop I in Bethany can certainly explain. It means that like his partner, Evo, you wake up every day ready to work hard, never complain, and are highly motivated. You see, Evo is a German Shepherd!

Evo, one of the patrol dogs for the Connecticut State Police, and Kevin trained together at the Canine Unit in Meriden, Connecticut. Established in 1934, the Canine Unit is part of the Emergency Services Unit, and is responsible for the training of all types of police dogs for the Connecticut State Police. The Canine Unit is also responsible for the training of the majority of other police departments within the State that use dogs, as well as agencies outside Connecticut.

At the Canine Unit, Kevin and Evo underwent an intensive 540-hour basic training course, which covered obedience, obstacle work, tracking, building search, handler protection and evidence recovery. After graduation, Kevin and Evo were assigned to the Bethany troop, but canine teams are assigned to any one of the twelve State Police Troops. Training continues on a daily basis, to make sure that Evo's skills are in top form, since he and Kevin will need to find and apprehend criminals, locate missing persons, or perhaps detect illegal drugs. Everyday, a Police canine officer places his or her life in danger, all in the line of duty.

German and Belgium shepherds are the most common type of dog trained as patrol dogs because of their high intelligence, loyalty to their handler, and bravery. Before a dog can be trained as a patrol dog, they undergo testing for aggression control, courage, motivation, and intelligence. The ideal candidate puppy is outgoing and readily approaches people and interacts readily, and is not afraid of new things coming into its environment. Because the dogs understand the difference between work time and play time, when off duty, Evo lives with Kevin and is treated as a family pet.

If you are interested in learning more about our K-9 officers visit their web site at HYPERLINK "http://www.state.ct.us/dps" www.state.ct.us/dps. And if you would like to adopt a German Shepherd, or any other breed of dog, stop by the District Animal Control Shelter on Bradley Road in Woodbridge.

Patricia Dray is the public relations represenative for the District Animal Control Volunteer Organization (DACVO)