A graduation ceremony was held on Wednesday, June 24th, in a Rhode Island Department of Corrections conference room to celebrate the completion of the 12-week training of Johnston (RI) K-9 Bono. Bono, a German Shepherd, and his handler, Johnston K-9 Officer Philip Viens, were trained by the RIDOC’s K-9 Unit Commander Stephen Hauser and K-9 Officer Anthony Lucca.
Bono was trained in “Police Patrol Canine,” which includes obedience, building searches, area searches, criminal apprehension, article searches and tracking. Once his training was complete, he was nationally certified by a master trainer from the North American Police Work Dog Association.
In the past four years, the RIDOC’s K-9 Unit has trained K-9s in the Cranston, North Providence, and Johnston Police Departments as well as Commander Stephen Hauser’s own K-9, Robbie, a Belgian Malinois. Robbie has the distinction of also being trained in cell phone detection. In addition, the Unit runs monthly In-Service trainings for the aforementioned departments as well as for the T.F. Green Airport Police.