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10/23/2018 - Mayor Ganim, Bridgeport Police Department Welcome New Bomb Sniffing Dog

Mayor Joseph P. Ganim 
Bridgeport, CT

Chief of Police
rmando J. Perez 

For Immediate Release 
October 23, 2018

For More information:
Dalmarys Matos (203) 576-7201

Press Release

Mayor Ganim, Bridgeport Police Department Welcome New Bomb Sniffing Dog
‘Dennis’ The Bomb Sniffing K9 Made Possible Through Donation in Memory of Local Business Owner

Bridgeport, CT – Mayor Ganim today welcomed Dennis, the Explosive Detective Canine (EDC), to the Bridgeport Police Department. The 2 year old, Belgian Malinois joined the Bridgeport K9 Unit thanks to a donation from Sonitrol Verified Security Systems in memory of its founder, Dennis F. Hickey.

Hickey was a proud member of the Bridgeport business community for five decades. He founded Sonitrol Security Systems with his wife, Joan Hickey in 1973. Sonitrol Security started monitoring the security alarms at Central High School in 1976 and today they secure all Bridgeport schools and municipal buildings.

“Dennis Hickey provided Bridgeport Public Schools with a reliable and quality security system for over 40 years. Through the Hickey family’s generosity, we now have another way to ensure our residents and students are protected every day,” said Mayor Ganim.

Bridgeport Police Chief AJ Perez said, “We are thankful to now have a police K9 added to our unit especially in honor of a man who dedicated his life to school safety. Having our own K9 trained in explosive detection saves us precious minutes because we no longer need to rely on the state police to send a K9 from Hartford.”

In September 21, 2016, Hickey lost a six month battle with brain cancer after a valiant fight. After his passing, Mrs. Hickey and their son Jeff Hickey decided to fund the cost of a police dog in his memory. “My father was passionate about protecting Bridgeport students. He dedicated his life to ensuring their safety with Sonitrol Security Systems. Funding this dog in my father’s memory is the best thing that I could have done to honor his life,” said Jeff Hickey.

The Hickey’s donation will cover the cost of the dog, the training, as well as the cost of equipment such as the bullet proof vest. The cost of a trained K9 would normally cost the department between $15-20k.

K9 Dennis was born in Holland and was being trained as a U.S. Department of Defense contract military dog for Afghanistan. During this preparation, operational assignments were altered and his overseas contract was cancelled.

Sergeant Erick Norton, a 20 year veteran of the Bridgeport Police Department, was chosen as K9 Dennis’ handler. Sgt. Norton is in charge of the K9 Unit and serves as the Executive Officer for the Bridgeport Police Department Emergency Services Unit.