3/3/22 - City of Wildwood Commissioner of Public Safety, Steve Mikulski and Police Chief Robert Regalbuto, today announced that the Department’s K-9 Unit will be further enhancing their capabilities with the addition of two explosive detection dogs. These dogs will be specifically trained to detect firearms and explosives. The Police Department will acquire the dogs free of charge, thanks to various anonymous and philanthropic donations to our K-9 Unit.
“In light of the growing number of events the city sponsors, coupled with the multitude of residents and visitors to our boardwalk, beach and amusement piers, dogs trained to detect explosives greatly enhances the police department’s efforts in strengthening public safety within our city,” said Mikulski.
These new explosive trained police dogs will join the police department’s two current police dogs, which are specifically trained and play a critical role in the detection of narcotics, in addition to tracking possible evidence, missing persons, and apprehending suspected criminal violators.
Mikulski contends that the number of events hosted by the City of Wildwood, many of which are mass gatherings, calls for a minimum of two dogs to be effective in the detection of any suspicious packages or potential explosive devices. “The narcotics dogs have proven their value to city’s law enforcement and the explosive detection dogs will further elevate the department’s capabilities in providing an even greater level of security and protection,” Mikulski added.
The new dogs will undergo a 12-week training program in time for their assignments in the K-9 unit before the upcoming summer season. Normally, the training program requires a 22-week period but the shortened time is due to the police department’s current dog handlers already being certified. Officer’s Christopher Katz and Joseph Grundlock are assuming the handling of the explosive detection dogs, along with their duties working the narcotic dogs, with no additional compensation. Since there will be no new handlers for the dogs, there will be no disruption to police operations. As a mutual aid initiative, the dog training is taking place at the John “Sonny” Burke Academy in Atlantic County, N.J.
Besides the success of the narcotic dogs, Mikulski applauded the overall commitment of the Wildwood Police Department K-9 Unit in continually pursuing donations. “With its robust fund-raising appeals and grant applications, the K-9 Unit is not only self-funded but it donates money to various local programs to nurture positive relationships within the community,” said Mikulski.
Mikulski called the addition of the detection dogs a win-win for the city. “We will able to provide a safer community at no cost to taxpayers. No cost to purchase, feed or care for the animals, and with no additional cost to the work force or the handlers, is absolutely remarkable.”
“I am proud of our police department and their K-9 Officers for presenting this amazing opportunity. Also, that we will be able to provide this important safety measure to our residents, visitors, businesses, and event sponsors. I believe it should give everyone a better peace of mind,” concluded Mikulski.
“We are very excited to have the opportunity to enhance the skills and capabilities of our K-9 Unit, so that we may better protect those of the community which we serve. I am grateful to Commissioner Mikulski for this support, not only for our K-9 Unit, but of our entire police department,” said Chief Regalbuto.
Wildwood Fire Chief Ernie Troiano III enthusiastically expressed his support for the dogs as well. “Having direct access to explosive detection dogs if needed on an emergency call certainly brings a great deal of added security to the entire Fire Department, “Troiano said.