Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Detectives Train With Dutch National Police K-9 Experts

      Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Section Detectives Michael Carbone and John Granato and their dogs spent three days honing their skills in upstate New York with two, world-class K-9 instructors with the Dutch National Police in the Netherlands.

“This training with internationally-renowned K-9 handlers can only increase the expertise of the Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Section, which provides critical security services, criminal apprehension and evidence detection in the county,” Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon said.

Morris County Sheriff's Officers in K-9 training
Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Section Detective Michael Carbone (in green) faces Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Detective John Granato during specialized K-9 training with Dutch National Police experts Hennie Bolster and Ruud Leus in upstate New York.

Detective Carbone brought K-9 Loco and Detective Granato brought K-9 Spike to the invitation-only seminar at Upstate K-9, LLC, taught by guest K-9 handlers and trainers Hennie Bolster and Ruud Leus of the Dutch National Police.

The seminar spanned Feb. 25 through Feb. 27, and covered K-9 detection functions as well as patrol functions that included tracking, evidence recovery, obedience and criminal apprehension, said Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Section Detective Sergeant Aaron Tomasini.

Detective Carbone, an assistant trainer himself, also handles K-9 Boomer, whose specialty is explosives detection. Detective Granato’s second K-9 is Cinders, a certified accelerant detection dog.

The seminar exposed the detectives to training methods and techniques currently used by the Dutch National Police.

Morris County Sheriff's Officer with K-9 Spike
Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Section Detective John Granato with K-9 Spike during specialized K-9 training in upstate New York with Dutch National Police experts Hennie Bolster and Ruud Leus.

“This type of seminar is a wonderful opportunity for our K-9 handlers to receive training from some of the best K-9 trainers the world has to offer,” Sgt. Tomasini said.

“With over 60 years of combined experience, Hennie and Ruud are a wealth of knowledge on both K-9 operations and K-9 training,” he said.

Officers Bolster and Leus have both spent decades training and judging K-9s for the Koninklijke Nederlandse Politiehond Vereniging (KNPV), which translates to the Royal Dutch Police Dog Association, according to their biographies.

The Netherlands, a country in western Europe that includes the province of Holland, has about 580 patrol dogs and 70 specialized searching dogs, the biographies state.

‘Jersey Matters’ on MeTV captures life-saving mission of Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon’s Hope One program

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon’s Hope One mobile substance abuse recovery and resource program was featured in a segment that aired Feb. 23 and Feb. 24 on MeTV’s “Jersey Matters” program.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon with MeTV Journalist Kimberly Kravitz
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon was interviewed Feb. 19, 2019, about his Hope One mobile substance abuse recovery and resource program by “Jersey Matters” Journalist Kimberly Kravitz in Morristown.

MeTV Correspondent Kimberly Kravitz met with Sheriff Gannon and the Hope One staff at the vehicle’s stop on Feb. 19 outside Bethel AME Church in Morristown. As Hope One approaches its second anniversary of operations, Kravitz spotlighted the 6,200 contacts staff has had with addicted individuals and their families and friends, and how anyone can be trained aboard the Hope One vehicle in the life-saving administration of Narcan, the opioid-reversal spray.

“I think the message is there’s hope. There’s hope. This all begins with hope. I’ve seen some tremendous success stories here,” Sheriff Gannon said in the interview.

If you missed it, watch the segment here:


Five “Warriors” Join Morris County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team

Five officers from the Madison, Mount Olive, Morris Township and Morris County Park Police departments were sworn in Monday as the newest members of the elite, highly-trained Morris County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team.

Accompanied by parents, friends and police chiefs from their respective departments, the five new SERT members sworn in as deputy sheriffs by Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon are Madison Police Officers Ryan Dunn and Julian Morales; Mount Olive Township Officer Matthew Koppinger; Morris Township Officer John Burk; and Morris County Park Police Officer Christian DiGiralomo.

Members of the Morris County SERT with Sheriff James M. Gannon
From left, Officers John Burk, Ryan Dunn and Julian Morales, Morris County Sheriff’s Office Undersheriff Alan Robinson, Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon, Morris County Undersheriff Mark Spitzer, Officer Christian DiGiralomo, Officer Matthew Koppinger, Morris County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team Commander Gino Fluri.

The five officers are part of SERT, which is tasked with responding to major incidents in Morris County that require expert marksmanship, hostage negotiation skills, search and rescue, extreme fitness and ability to quickly assess dangerous circumstances and de-escalate situations to peaceful resolutions.

Sheriff Gannon called the SERT officers “warriors,” entrusted with protecting the community from hazards, threats and emergencies.   The five new members were selected from 50 law enforcement officer applicants around Morris County and went through rigorous fitness and skills training before being sworn.

Morris County SERT is one of the few such teams selected for specialized training by the U.S. Secret Service and in the next few months, its members will receive additional training by Tier-One military units in skills to include rappelling, and counter-assault tactics by the Secret Service.

“When the bell rings we simply need the best. You guys are the best. I trust my life with you,” Gannon told SERT at a ceremony at the Morris County Office of Emergency Management.

“We’re very fortunate in that regard to have what we need here,” Gannon said. “You’re the elite of the elite.”

The Morris County Sheriff’s Office in 1988 created SERT, which was composed exclusively of sheriff’s officers until 2013 when the team was reconstructed to include talented law enforcement officers from municipal departments.

In 2017, under Sheriff Gannon’s leadership, two full-time SERT operator positions were created and filled by Sheriff’s Office Corporal Jamie Rae and Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Corrections Corporal Matthew Cilurso. Working with SERT Commander Gino Fluri, Rae and Cilurso focus daily on checking and monitoring critical infrastructure and areas deemed vulnerable to threats.

The other SERT members are volunteers who remain employed by their respective police departments but respond when SERT is alerted.

Fluri, the SERT commander, said members have conducted 624 training evolutions, participated in more than 2,548 hours of specialized training and more than 24,000 individual unit-training hours.

SERT responded to 78 requests for service in 2018 and also provides an extra layer of protection at large events, festivals and parades. The majority of SERT’s time though, Fluri said, is spent training and making sure members are fully prepared for emergencies.