11/29/2006

K-9 units to fight NY subway crime

Newsday 

The New York Police Department has deployed the first K-9 units devoted exclusively to the subway, the city's top transit officer said Monday.

"We have four out there now, with another three to follow by mid-December," said James P. Hall, chief of the NYPD's Transit Bureau. "They won't work anywhere else but the subway."

The last K-9 unit dedicated solely to mass transit was disbanded in the 1980s, but Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly revived the idea in January.

"The biggest issue here is deterrence," said Lt. John Pappas, K-9 unit commanding officer. "The overall mission is counter-terrorism and to fight crime."

Eventually, the transit bureau will have 27 German shepherds trained specifically to work in the loud and busy subway system.

Some straphangers were startled by the large dogs in the subway Monday.

"I don't want the dog on the subway," said Ava Taylor, a rider who shared a downtown No. 4 train with one of the dogs. "That thing looks like a wolf."

Once the transit bureau unit is factored in, the NYPD will have the biggest K-9 team in the U.S., officials said.  
 

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