Stamford bomb squad welcomes new K-9 officer to unit
The Stamford Police Bomb Squad has a new K-9 officer.
K-9 Kobe is the newest explosive detection K-9 to join the unit.
Kobe hit the streets for the first time Thursday with his handler, officer Dan Kokkoros.
Kokkoros has been a member of the bomb squad for around four years. He serves as a certified bomb technician. Kobe is his first K-9.
"It's a lot of dedication, time, commitment," Kokkoros says. "But it's very fun and very rewarding."
The city of Stamford purchased Kobe from Guiding Eyes for the Blind in New York. Kobe recently became certified in explosive detection following a 10-week training program through the Connecticut State Police.
As part of the certification process, Kobe was imprinted with 30 odors known to explosives.
Kobe replaces K-9 Pogo, who retired Thursday after more than seven years on the job. His handler, Sgt. James Comstock, is the bomb squad's commander.
"I'm happy for him," Comstock says. "He's fulfilled his career and obligations, and it's time for him to enjoy his retirement."
The Stamford Police Bomb Squad serves Fairfield County. The unit includes nine officers and three explosive detection K-9s.
Duties include fireworks details and security sweeps across the county, and responding to suspicious package incidents, among other emergencies. The K-9s are also trained to find guns that may have been left behind at crime scenes.