ALBANY, N.Y. – Thirteen K-9s and their handlers graduated from the State Police Academy Tuesday.
The graduation came after 20 weeks of extensive training, and Albany County Sheriff's Deputy Joe Martel and his K-9 Moe were among the recipients.
"A lot of physical fitness for us, and then we get the dogs and they get a lot of physical fitness," Martel said of their training. "A lot of hikes through the hills of Cooperstown."
The training of police canines and their handlers include running down perpetrators and sniffing out drugs or explosives. Sniffing out explosives is Moe's specialty. Martel also has first-hand experience.
"I'm retired from the Army National Guard," he said. "I had two tours of Iraq. In my first tour, we had two soldiers in my company that died from IEDs."
It's tradition for K-9s to be named after police officers who have passed away. Moe is named after retired Senior Investigator Maureen McGuire who passed away from cancer two years ago.
McGuire's family was able to meet K-9 Moe after the ceremony.
"It's an honor to have the dog named after her, and it's a nice legacy knowing that the dog will work in a job that Maureen loved her entire life," McGuire's sister, Eileen Feeley, said.
And that's a legacy that both Moe and Deputy Martel are proud to continue.
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