Coins for Canines

Locust Valley Elementary School students are raising funds to help support the police department K-9 unit. Through Coins for K-9s, the Locust Valley Intermediate School Student Council is collecting spare change for this cause. In support of their efforts, Nassau and Suffolk County police officers brought their K-9 partners to the school to demonstrate their police skills. 

Suffolk County police officer Brendan Gayer not only explained to students how the German Shepherds are trained for police work, but dubbed them junior K-9 handlers and taught them a command. He explained that the dogs work hard and won’t take their toys until they are told it’s playtime. He had all the children shout in their happiest, most playful tones, the word for playtime, which is “free.” The children enjoyed learning this training technique and seeing the dogs grab their toys on their command.  

Officer Gayer, who is one of the K-9 trainers and handles a German Shepherd named Rascal, introduced his fellow officers and their dogs, who demonstrated how they sit, lay down, jump and run through tunnels. For the final demonstration, one of the four-legged police officers came out to sniff for a particular scent. His trainer placed a certain collar on him, alerting him to his task, and he walked on the stage, nose to the ground. He quickly found the scent and the audience broke into applause. 

Student Council advisers Jane Benstock and Shari Zindman organized the presentation so students understand what the donations would go towards. “The students learned the importance of supporting the K-9 unit and had the opportunity to see what goes into training the dogs,” Mrs. Benstock said.

Thanks to Officer Gayer and his team for their time and dedication to keeping everyone safe. From Suffolk County, the K-9 handlers included Sergeant Kevin Krause and his K-9, Wolf, and police officer Ryan Neems and his K-9, Gunnar, and from Nassau County, Sergeant Rob Cohen with Moose and police officers Tom Kananowicz with Bernie, Chris Karman with Chief and Mike Leone with Turo.