NYPD Transit Bureau graduates 10 K-9s, celebrating many firsts

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The NYPD is about to swear in its newest officers Friday, and the four-legged recruits and their dog-loving handlers are all the buzz.

The K-9 units are specially trained for the biggest and busiest transit system in the country.

"Pre-pandemic, we had 5.7 million people passing through our system," NYPD Lt. John Pappas said.

The explosive detecting dogs can sniff out threats in seconds, whether they're in bags, in vehicles, on trains, or on underground platforms.

ALSO READ | What Gabby Petito's death by strangulation could mean for Brian Laundrie's case
EMBED More News Videos

ABC News Chief Legal Analyst Dan Abrams explains how Gabby Petito's autopsy results could spell out bad news for Brain Laundrie.

"We used the pandemic to do special training," Pappas said.

The Transit Bureau will graduate 10 K-9s on Friday, and the group has a lot of firsts, all of them named for a fallen officer.

"We carry that with us to make sure we never forget," NYPD Officer Mark O'Connor said.

O'Connor, like all of the handlers, has been training with his dog Mikey for five months.

Mikey is the first springer spaniel K-9, named for Inspector Michael McGrath, who was killed two years ago in a motorcycle accident.

McGrath's family members will honor his memory at the graduation.

"We've trained really hard," O'Connor said.

Also graduating Friday is the first of the NYPD's breeding program, as well as a specialized K-9 member of the TRED program, a Transit Enhanced Detection Dog.

MORE NEWS | Name that pooch: New York Islanders adopt 3rd 'Puppy with a Purpose'
EMBED More News Videos

The New York Islanders have drafted their third "Puppy with a Purpose," and they want your help finding a name.

It wears a special vest and is able to detect radiation and weapons that can't be sniffed out.

They are keeping New Yorkers safe from dangers they may not even know are lurking.

Happy graduation day, K-9 cadets. Every dog has its day, and this one is yours.

* Get Eyewitness News Delivered
* More New York City news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.