Plainfield Police Welcome New 4-Legged Officer

Plainfield Police Officer Ryan Barile poses with the department’s new police dog named Warin.
[John Shishmanian/ NorwichBulletin.com]

PLAINFIELD — Inside Plainfield police headquarters on Friday, the department’s newest officer was laser-focused on a spiky, yellow ball.

When the ball was launched by Officer Ryan Barile, Warin, a 2-year-old, 72-pound German shepherd with a black muzzle, chocolate-and-tan fur and a brushy tail, lunged after the toy before settling at his handler’s feet.

“Warin definitely loves his ball and when he sees that, he’s ready to roll,” Barile, a two-year veteran of the department said, stroking his partner’s coat. “I can say I definitely would not have expected to have a dog this early in my career, but it’s going to be a great challenge and I’m looking forward to embracing every minute of it.”

Barile, 24, said Warin — the name means “protector” or “defender” in German, is on track to become the force’s newest patrol canine, a job that fits the animal’s pedigree to a T.

“His dad is with the New York City Police Department’s emergency services unit and the minute I saw video of Warin, I knew he was the right dog,” Barile said.

Once Barile was given the go-ahead a few months back to begin searching for a new patrol dog, he hit the ground running. He hooked up with the Hometown Foundation Inc. group out of Cheshire that allowed the officer to select Warin from a breeder and covered the cost.

“This foundation has gone above and beyond and is continuing to donate items including a GPS collar, bite sleeves and other specialized equipment,” Barile said. “Plainfield, like most police departments in the country, doesn’t have a specific K9 budget and strictly rely on their communities and private donations and grants to operate a successful program.”

And the community has stepped up with local banks, individual donators and community groups pledging help to cover the costs of supplies, protective gear and other items.

Warin, once he completes a 16-week state police K9 training class in the fall, will be the department’s second working police dog. But unlike Vail, the department’s narcotics police dog, Warin will be trained to handle patrol-related issues, Chief Michael Surprenant said.

“That kind of work includes tracking suspects and missing persons, from children that wandered from home to elderly folks with Alzheimer’s,” he said. “In addition, Warin will be trained to protect his handler and other officers and hunt down evidence.”

Warin’s reward-based centers around that yellow ball, while drug-sniffing police dogs work on a food-incentive system.

Dog such as Warin can easily cost a department upwards of $8,000 — too dear a price for town and department that struggled through a thorny budget cycle this year.

“We know your budget seasons are going to be tight, so we’re always on the lookout for organizations that can support us,” Surprenant said. “And Barile is an eager young officer who reached out and got us this dog.”

Barile, who grew up around dogs, said Warin quickly warmed to his new surroundings.

“He’s been great at the department, socializing with everyone as if he’s known them his entire life,” he said. “He’s a friendly dog and, as the department’s community resource officer, I expect we’ll be out at parades and in schools. I did have to transition him off his old raw meat diet to kibble — that much meat is pretty expensive.”

By John Penney

Plainfield Key Bank K-9 Press Release

 

In March of 2019, The Hometown Foundation, Inc. received a request from Plainfield CT Police Department for assistance in continuing their Police K-9 program after the recent unexpected retirement of its German Shepherd K-9. The Plainfield Police Department previously used its K-9 to detect narcotics, locate missing persons, search vehicles, and apprehend criminals in their small town of 16,000 residents. The quickest way to find a lost person or suspect in a town with this much wooded area, is by using a Police K-9.  In order to keep the community safe and continue their efforts, The Hometown Foundation, Inc., in conjunction with Key Bank, donated a fully equipped Police K-9 to the Plainfield Police Department. 

The Police K-9 was donated in early June 2019 to Officer Ryan Barile who will be the new Police K-9 Handler for their department. This donation would not have been possible without the generous support of our Police K-9 Program by Key Bank. Because of their contribution dollars through the Neighborhood Assistance Act, we were able to donate a K-9, leads, and tug toys on the day K-9 Warren was picked up. 

The K-9 Handler and the K-9 Officer will also receive a Garmin Watch, a Garmin GPS collar with Huntview Maps, and other equipment that will be purchased and donated to the department. The well-being of the Handler and K-9 are our top priorities and thanks to Key Bank we are able to ensure their safety and make sure they are fully equipped and ready for the job. Chris Sferruzzo of The Hometown Foundation, Inc. states “Given how rural the area is and how much tracking the K-9s do, it is imperative that the location of the handler and K-9 is known at all times. It is also important to know their previous locations so they can keep track of where they’ve been.” Thankfully, the Garmin equipment we provide them will make this possible and is one of the ways we keep everyone safe.  

Training is a vital component of K-9 Police work that is not publicly funded. Proper and extensive training is expensive yet critical to the K-9 Unit’s success. To combat the expense, we work with the departments to raise money through local fundraisers and initiatives. The support of the community is so important during this process because the expenses of a K-9 Unit never cease throughout the year. Although we jumpstart the donation process, funding within the community is needed year round to support the on-going costs of training, equipment, and other expenditures. We are grateful for Key Bank supporting our K-9 program and helping us get this pivotal process started for Plainfield CT Police Department. 

The town of Plainfield, Connecticut might be small but they sure have a big heart. Dedication and determination isn’t something their town is lacking. They are a community that comes together in a time of need and are excited to begin on this journey with the Police Department. The residents and the town support the police’s decision to continue the program. Although the K-9 will be operating as a fully functional officer, he will also be present at school pep rallies, fundraisers, and other functions so he becomes a friendly and familiar face within the community. The K-9 will soon be known all around town and be trained in tracking missing persons, obedience, suspect apprehension, and handler protection. Plainfield is very excited to work with K-9 Warren and make him a part of the team. We encourage residents and business owners to help them with any financial assistance possible since the program is vastly funded by private donations. 

The Hometown Foundation, Inc. was proud to secure $50,000.00 worth of pet food for Connecticut Rescues.

 

When we got a call from Purina informing us that they had a large quantity of product available sitting in the Manhattan area, we knew that if we put our heads together, we could find a way to get it in the hands, and paws, of local Connecticut rescue centers. After teaming up with Dog Star Rescue, Pack Leaders Rescue, Turnpike Motors and Auto Body and Jetro & Hooker Brewery, we were able to obtain several pallets from multiple warehouses in New York and transfer them back into our local communities. For places like the Meriden Humane Society, donations like these are crucial since they are non-profits that do not receive any state funding.

Truly a group effort, it was a beautiful sight to see shelters, pantries, truck companies and businesses joining together to help animals in need. Because of their hard work, 15 different rescues were able to come and pick up food. By uniting together, animals were kept healthy and able to find their forever home. Thank you to Purina and all those involved for making this amazing day possible.Edit

Saving the Lives of Florida Pets

WEST PALM BEACH — On Nov. 16, Lisa Murray was out Christmas shopping when she received a call from a neighbor that made her heart stop.

Her home in Royal Palm Beach was on fire. It had started in a car and spread to her house.

Within five minutes, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue was on the scene, Murray said. Crews saved two of her five dogs. One was Rocky, her 16-year-old black and gray Chihuahua.

Rocky was given “mouth-to-snout” resuscitation and an oxygen mask to help him breathe, she said.

“We were incredibly grateful beyond words,” Murray said.

Rocky’s story is living proof of why pet owners need to think about their animals’ safety in the event of a fire, officials said Thursday as they unveiled Palm Beach County’s “Save Our Pets” campaign at Animal Care and Control’s headquarters in suburban West Palm Beach. The campaign is a joint initiative by Palm Beach County Fire Rescue and Animal Care and Control.

The nonprofit Community Assistance Benefit Corp. donated 100,000 red-and-black stickers pet owners can place on the doors of their homes, said County Commissioner Mary Lou Berger, D-Boca Raton. The stickers have an image of a dog and a cat in the middle and space to write-in the number of pets living at a residence. In the event of a fire, the sticker alerts firefighters that pets may be in need of rescue.

The Hometown Foundation and Rescue Life, two other nonprofits, also are donating 120 pet oxygen masks to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, so crews can limit the physical damage to animals that may have inhaled smoke and other pollutants a fire releases. Palm Beach County Fire Rescue also offers group classes to help teach people how to perform CPR on their pets.

Lt. Greg Kaplan recalls seeing a red sticker on Murray’s house as it burned in November. He hopes more animals that are trapped in residential fires will be able to live on, just like the 16-year-old chihuahua.

“This is not only to help the community and save lives, but save pet lives,” Kaplan said.

dcassidy@pbpost.com