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police & fire

Town Of Poughkeepsie Tracking Dog Receives Certification

Officer Vanja Mikelic and K-9 Kyle
Officer Vanja Mikelic and K-9 Kyle Photo Credit: Town of Poughkeepsie Police

The Town of Poughkeepsie Police canine team Officer Vanja Mikelic and K-9 Kyle have been awarded the title of Police Tracking Dog.

The team received the certification after testing with the Eastern Police Canine Association, one of the most difficult given by any K-9 organization, said Capt. Kevin Faber.

To earn the certification, the team must complete a mentally and physically challenging course. The track, set three hours prior to the test, is two miles long and consists of multiple turns and angles, as well as misleading tracks.

The dog also has to locate numerous articles during the track and alert to his handler at each of them.

Faber said each year many teams from across the country attempt to earn the certification, but to date, only seven teams have earned it.

Out of those seven, Mikelic is one of only two handlers who has ever earned the certification with two different canine partners.

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