Justice Students Learn Role of
K-9 Unit in County Sheriff's Office
Windsor, N.J. - On Sept. 19, four Mercer County Sheriff officers
visited campus to introduce MCCC's Criminal Justice students
to two special members of their unit: Balko and Esso, two
highly trained dogs who provide vital assistance in their
police work. The one-hour presentation that took place on
the West Windsor campus quad provided an overview of the dogs'
roles and revealed the bonds between the canines and the officers
who work with them.
According to Officers Craig Bunting and Chris Drew, the K-9s
are trained to sniff out explosives and drugs and to help
in missing persons searches. They also provide highly effective
crowd control and general patrol assistance. Also participating
in the presentation were Officers Tom Sweeney and C.J. McKenna.
in the demonstration was a car stop, where one of the dogs
subdued the driver, and a demonstration chase of a perpetrator
(protected with a Kevlar sleeve).
Noted Officer Bunting, "They are there to stop the threat."
He observed that people respond to dogs differently. "No
one wants to get bitten," he said. The dogs are especially
effective in breaking up unruly crowds and minimizing the
possibility that an officer will end up in a direct hands-on
conflict with a citizen.
Students had a number of questions for the officers and appeared
both fascinated and impressed with the K-9 unit. Officer Bunting
told students he wouldn't want to do his job without his dogs.
The demonstration was hosted by the MCCC Criminal Justice
Club. According to club advisor and faculty member Elizabeth
Bondurant, the club plans to invite the officers and their
dogs back to campus in the future. Other future events planned
by the club are a visit to the 9/11 memorial and bringing
the state police helicopter to campus.
Students in Mercer's Criminal Justice program earn an associate
in science degree. They may major in either Law Enforcement
or Corrections. Learn more about the Criminal Justice Club
More about the program curriculum is available here.
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explain the dogs' roles in searches for explosives and drugs.
use of dogs in car stops is demonstrated.
accomplished. Dog trots back from a field pursuit.
with County Sheriff's officers and
Criminal Justice Club Advisor Liz Bondurant, center.