The dogs and their handlers were part of a graduation and dedication ceremony today.
The MTA Police Department uses dogs for drug and explosive detection in large transit areas, and today eight new police canines and their handlers graduated to active duty.
The ceremony had all the markers of a graduation: uniforms, speeches, and awards, but when some of the graduates filed into Grand Central's Vanderbilt Hall, they did so on leashes and four legs. The eight dogs and the officers who trained them just finished a sixteen week training program to certify them in bomb detection. During that time, officers and dogs get pretty attached.
"He's part of the family when he's home. I can't wait to get started on patrole with him."
That's Officer John Wharton. His dog, Mikey, is named after a late MTA Police officer.
"Mike Aurisano... I had the distinct pleasure of meeting him and working with him a little bit before he retired, and it's a complete honor.
All the dogs are named in honor of late police and military officers, and after the ceremony the newly shielded canines got to spend quality time with the families of their namesakes.