mcso doug marino K9 bluePHOTO: Monmouth County Sheriff's Officer Doug Marino and K-9 Blue Receiving Certificate

MERCER COUNTY - In the continuing effort to fight crime, Sheriff Shaun Golden is pleased to announce the newest team to the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit. Sheriff’s Officer Doug Marino and K-9 Blue, a two year old Belgian Malinois, graduated from the New Jersey State Police K-9 Scent Class #34 on June 14, after 14 weeks of intense training in explosive detection.

“It’s an honor to welcome this highly trained K-9 team to our unit. S/O Marino and his partner Blue will prove to be a great asset to Monmouth County and local police departments,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden. “K-9 teams are extremely essential when it comes to bolstering homeland security capabilities by playing a vital role in protecting our county against criminal and terroristic threats, combatting the proliferation of drugs, as well as assisting in the apprehension of suspects.”

During the graduation ceremony, held in Hamilton, 21 teams trained in scent, which included 12 explosive teams and 9 narcotics teams, received diplomas. They met all the requirements set forth by the State of New Jersey, Office of Attorney General guidelines.

They trained in vacant buildings, lots and offices, throughout various counties, and with the United States Park Police K-9 and Marine Units at Ellis and Liberty Islands.

The academy also focused on case law, crime scene preservation, basic obedience, agility, environmental training and socialization with crowds.

“This has been a great experience for Blue and me and I’m grateful to the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office for providing us with this opportunity,” said S/O Doug Marino. “K-9s are extremely useful in fighting crime and I’m proud to be a part of our explosive detection team.”

In addition, S/O David Lasko received his certification as a patrol response and scent detection team trainer and S/O Michael Mindo became certified as a patrol response trainer.

The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit presently consists of eight handlers and nine K-9s. The Unit includes two explosive teams, two explosive/patrol teams, three narcotics/patrol teams, one narcotics team and one tracking team. They are called on year-round to assist local police departments with narcotics detection, explosive detection and criminal or missing person searches. In 2018, the K-9 Unit responded to 200 explosive detection calls, 212 tracking calls and 212 narcotics calls.