The Greenwich Police Department’s K9 Unit is currently staffed by Police Officer Keith Scorca and K-9 Kato. K9 Kato is a two year old German Shepherd from Czechoslovakia.
The K9 unit began in 1988 as part of the Patrol Division. It has proven to be a great asset not only to the Town of Greenwich, but also to its surrounding communities.
The K-9 Unit patrols one of the Department's twelve patrol areas, and is available to respond to situations town wide if needed.
Members of the K-9 Unit must pass an 18-week training program at the Connecticut State Police K-9 Academy in Meriden, Connecticut. The K-9 dogs are trained in tracking criminals and missing persons, building and area searches for suspects, recovery of evidence, and in protecting their handler. Advanced training can include the detection of narcotics and explosives.
Officer Rick Cochran along with his K-9 partner, Yogi, were the first K-9 team in this department. Officer Cochran and K-9 Yogi retired from the unit in 1994 at which time they were replaced by Officer Stanley Ouimette along with his K-9 partner Shadow. Officer Ouimette and Shadow retired from the unit in 1999.
Officer John Thorme and his K-9 partner Shilo replaced Officer Ouimette and his K-9 partner Shadow in 1999. Becoming the department’s third K-9 team. Officer Thorme and K-9 Shilo became the first members additionally trained in narcotic detection. Officer Thorme and K-9 Shilo retired from the unit in 2007.
Officer Mike Macchia and K-9 Tyro became the fourth K-9 team in Greenwich in 2007. Officer Macchia and K-9 Tyro were additionally trained in narcotic detection. Officer Macchia and K9 Tyro retired from the unit in 2014.
The K-9 team is assigned its own Police vehicle, which is specially equipped for them. The officer and his K-9 partner live together at the officer's residence. The K-9 team is on call 24 hours a day and is part of the Special Response Unit. Upon the retirement of either the K-9 or the officer, the K-9 remains with the officer.