Kean PD bites back
By Roman Gerus
The Kean University Police Department bites back against crime with a new K-9 unit aimed at sniffing out explosives.
Kean University has been awarded a grant for a new K-9 unit that specializes in detecting explosives before they can be detonated. The grant covers the purchase of the dog and the preliminary start-up costs.
The Kean Police Department is only one of three departments in New Jersey that received the grant in 2013 after applying through the “NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness”. Kean University Director of Public Safety and Police Adam Shubsda believed that Kean had a unique situation that called for the grant.
“[It was] our ability to articulate a need due to our location, growing footprint and the number of people on campus,” said Shubsda.
With a large student population in an even larger metropolitan area with areas of high crime rates, Kean was a likely candidate for the grant.
Louis Campanero is a student at Kean University and, therefore, would be among those under the watchful nose of the new unit.
“The K-9 bomb sniffing dog is only beneficial to Kean University since we earned him from a grant,” said Campanero.
The dog, named Gunner, is a German Shepard originally from a breeder in the Czech Republic. He migrated to Rhode Island and made his final stop at Kean University with his handler Mark Anacker. Anacker is a 10-year veteran of the Kean University Police Department who became a detective in 2007.
“[Mark Anacker] was chosen as the handler because of his experience as a patrol officer and his investigative prowess as a detective,” said Shubsda.
At one-year-old, Gunner has great potential for a long career. Gunner’s breed, the German Shepard, is the perfect dog for the job because of the breed’s long work-life expectancy. Together, Anacker and Gunner make a powerhouse duo capable of tackling a large magnitude of explosive situations.
On March 10, Gunner and Anacker began their extensive 14 week-long training program at Fort Dix in Burlington County in Southern New Jersey. The team is scheduled to graduate in June.