NEW YORK - Two-year-old Louie is one of the NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau’s newest bomb-sniffing K9s.
Not only did Louie and nine other four-legged graduates receive their doggy diplomas on Wednesday, but Assistant Chief Martine Materasso told FOX 5 NY they’re named after the NYPD’s fallen heroes.
"Some were lost on 9/11, some were lost diffusing an explosive device, some were post-9/11 diseases. Unfortunately, we had one who was assassinated," she explained.
Detective Lou Alvarez, a 20-year veteran of the force, lost his heroic battle with 9/11-related cancer in 2019.
Alvarez testified before congress on behalf of his fellow ground zero first responders just before entering hospice care.
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"My brother was a bomb squad detective and this is a special one. He would be happy about this one," Alvarez’s older brother, Phil, says.
"It’s an honor to be here with the family and to honor the family and his memory with Louie," his handler, Detective Timothy Brady, adds.
The pups go through about four months of rigorous training before they’re ready to hit the busy city streets.
There, NYPD Bomb Squad Kennel Master Detective Joseph Giordano says they’ll sniff out explosives, protect the transit system and lead the way in the war on counterterrorism.
"Nothing’s like the Big Apple, so we’ve gotta introduce them to escalators, stairs, traffic; the hustle and bustle," he mentions.
The newly-inducted K9s will work alongside their handlers to continue the legacy of their namesakes in protecting New York City.
After all, Detective Anthony Biondolilo says that’s what the job is all about.
"To me, it’s everything, taking care of other people and remembering those that gave their lives before us," he adds.