A recent decision by the Rome Police Department to disband its K-9 Unit effective in January 2022 has some in the community questioning the future of other K-9 units in the Mohawk Valley.  WIBX asked the Utica Police Department if its leadership has discussed the possibility of disbanding their K-9 team.

Sergeant Michael Curley says, "We have no intention of disbanding our unit."  The police department in nearby Rome, New York said that their department will be discontinuing the use of police dogs, at least for the time being, because of changing drug laws in the state.  Rome PD Spokesperson Lt. Sharon Rood kept open the possibility, however, of the department welcoming back K-9s trained in areas other than drug detection.  The RPD will be retiring their two K-9s, Arko and Spock, both of whom are trained for drug detection.

Utica currently has four police dogs.  Three are trained for narcotics/patrol and one is specialized in explosives detection.

The Utica Police Department called attention to the participation of K-9 Varick in multiple arrests and the seizing of weapons and drug contraband following a multi-agency operation conducted last week.

In a post on social media the UPD said the following:

"K-9 Varick assisted a team at a particular targeted location and through he and his handler's efforts, that team located a large quantity of cocaine and weapons.

K-9 Varick and other dogs are essential to keeping the City safe and are a true asset to the Utica Police Department."

Comments on the post were overwhelmingly positive in favor of the dogs in general and Varick in particular.

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Utica Police K-9 Varick

Utica Police K-9 Unit Member Varick

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