Remy, Clarkstown’s new police dog, is named in honor of Sept. 11 hero Welles Remy Crowther. Crowther’s mother, Alison, spoke at a dedication ceremony. Video by Jane Lerner/The Journal News.
CLARKSTOWN — The police department has added to its roster — an officer to sniff out bombs.
Yara is a 16-month-old dog who is breaking a glass ceiling by becoming the department’s first female canine.
And like two other speciality dogs, Yara has been assigned to Officer Robert Reilly, who has partnered with K9s King and Brody during his career.
Yara becomes the department’s third canine.
She is a German Shepherd mix — called a Shepinois — imported from Slovakia.
Reilly and Yara will be training in explosive ordnance detection — for “bomb-sniffing,” Officer Norman Peters said in announcing the department’s newest officer.
The department took advantage of National Women’s Month to unveil Yara, who posed with the department’s female officers and Reilly as her coming out.
“We wish them good luck in their training and look forward to having them protecting the residents of Clarkstown,” Peters said in a news release.
The department has used dogs for tracking and sniffing out drugs and explosive materials. The Sheriff’s Office employs canines for arson detection and tracking, among other duties. Suffern and Ramapo police departments also have long-standing K9 programs.
Over the years, many of the police dogs have rose to the occasion, finding people lost either in the woods or wandering from health-related issues, or tracking suspects in crimes.
The dogs and their handlers train to become certified in specialties, as well as training constantly during the year to establish and maintain a rapport and discipline. The dog lives with its handler while working and when retired.
In Clarkstown, King located Eric Lau of Valley Cottage, a man in connection with the brutal slaying of his neighbor in 2009 after a two day manhunt. Lau later pleaded guilty.
Clarkstown named Remy in memory of Welles Remy Crowther, a 24-year-old equities trader who became known as the “man in the red bandanna” for his heroism on Sept. 11 when he saved people on the burning upper floors of the World Trade Center before losing his life.
Police dogs also draw support from the public. Some residents donate money to buy the dogs vests to protect them and special gadgets to control the temperature in the police cars when the officer is separated from the canine.
Steve Lieberman covers government, breaking news, courts, police and investigations. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @lohudlegal. Our local coverage is only possible with support from our readers. Sign up today for a digital subscription.
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