Thirteen canine and police officer teams graduated from the MTA Police Department explosives detection and anti-terrorism training in a ceremony held at Grand Central Terminal. In keeping with tradition, each canine is named in honor of fallen police officers, firefighters and members of the United States Armed Services. Four of today’s canine graduates were named after NYPD members who died in the line of duty protecting our city or country oversees.
The families of our fallen finest participated in the naming dedication ceremony and met the canines who will bear their family member’s name. Their work to protect transportation hubs in 14 counties throughout New York and Connecticut will help keep the legacy of our heroes alive. MTA canines were named in honor of NYPD Sergeant Paul Tuozzolo, Detective Joseph Lemm, Detective Steven McDonald, and Police Officer William Rivera. Family members of Detective WenJian Liu, Police Officer James McNaughton, Police Officer Kevin Lee, and Police Officer Stephen Driscoll were also in attendance to show their support and solidarity with other line of duty families.
The following canines and officers entered into active duty with the MTA PD:
- Canine Lemm, named in honor of NYPD Detective and Air National Guard Staff Sergeant Joseph Lemm, killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan in 2015. Lemm’s partner is MTAP PD Officer Matthew Fontana,
- Canine Willie, named in honor of NYPD Officer William Rivera, who died in 2004 when he fell from a Brooklyn rooftop in pursuit of a suspect. Willie’s partner is MTA PD Officer Giselle Gil
- Canine Mac, named in honor of NYPD Detective Steven D. McDonald, shot and paralyzed by gunfire in 1986 and who passed away in 2017. Mac’s partner is MTA PD Officer Alison Schmitt
- Canine Zolo, named in honor of NYPD Sergeant Paul Tuozzolo, killed by gunfire in the Bronx in 2016. Zolo’s partner is MTA PD Officer Patrick Schondebare
- Canine KD, named in honor of FDNY Lieutenant Kevin Donnelly, killed responding to the World Trade Center site on 9/11. KD’s partner is MTA PD Sergeant James Chirillo
- Canine Deuces, named in honor of Poughkeepsie Police Department Detective John Falcone, shot and killed in 2011 when he attempted to subdue a murder suspect. Deuces’ partner is MTA PD Sergeant Edward O’Flaherty
- Canine Shaunee, named in honor of United States Coast Guard 3rd Class Maritime Enforcement Specialist Shaun Lin, who drowned in a training exercise in Drowning, Virginia in 2010. Shaunee’s partner is MTA PD Officer Daniel Gambrell
- Canine Joey, named in honor of U.S. Army First Lieutenant Joseph J. Theinert, killed by an IED in Afghanistan in 2010. Joey’s partner is MTA PD Officer Christopher Matias.
- Canine Pags, named in honor of MTA PD Lieutenant John Pagnoni, one of the first trainers/supervisors of the canine unit, and who passed away from natural causes in November 2016. Pags’ partner is MTA PD Officer Brian McCormack
- Canine Mike, named in honor of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Michael H. Ollis, killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan in 2013. Mike’s partner is MTA PD Officer, Frank Musto.
- Canine Hoss, named in honor of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Anthony L. Mangano, killed by an IED in Afghanistan in 2008. Hoss’ partner is MTA PD Officer Charlie Spahr
United States Park Police
- Canine Hammer, named in honor of United States Park Police Sergeant Steven Connell, who passed away in 2017 following a medical emergency. Hammer’s partner is United States Park Police Officer Keith McDermott
Peekskill Police Department
- Canine Charlie, named in honor of Peekskill Police Department Detective Charles Wassil, who died from World Trade Center related illnesses in 2013. Charlie’s partner is Peekskill Police Officer Antony Nappi