The Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department has honored Sheriff Donald B. Smith, Chief Investigator A. Gerald Schramek and the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office for their support of the MTA Canine Unit program.
On Friday, June 14th, the MTA Police Department held graduation ceremonies at Vanderbilt Hall, located inside the historic Grand Central Terminal for eight newly trained MTA explosive detection canines and their police officer handlers. The academy class began fourteen weeks ago, just a few months after the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy. Because MTA canine units are routinely requested to help other law enforcement agencies in times of emergencies, they thought it was important to expose their canines to a school environment. Lieutenant John Kerwick, Executive Officer of the department’s canine units, reached out to the Sheriff’s Office for help in securing a school building for the academy training.
Chief Investigator Schramek, who is also a member of the Brewster Central School District’s Board of Education, assisted in obtaining the use of the Garden Street School. Through the courtesy of Brewster Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Jane Sandbank, Deputy Superintendent of Schools Mr. Timothy Conway and Director of Facilities, Mr. Andrew Bates, the use of the school was granted and the MTA canine academy training goals were met.
In presenting a plaque to Chief Schramek, Lieutenant Kerwick said, “Partner is a word that is used widely in today’s ceremony. Police officers are not only the ones who work more efficiently with partners, but so do police agencies. To successfully serve the needs of the public, we also need to nourish partnerships with other law enforcement agencies. One such agency that routinely assists us in our common goals of protecting and serving the riders of our great transportation system is the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department.”
Sheriff Smith thanks MTA Chief Michael R. Coan and Lieutenant Kerwick for this recognition. He echoes those sentiments, saying that, “our organizations are committed to working cooperatively to promote the safety and protection of people and property, both on the rails and in our communities.”