Coalition of Support for St. Kitts-Nevis Security Initiatives Strengthens K-9 Unit of the St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force with Donation

Friday, June 22, 2012, BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — The Coalition of Support for St. Kitts-Nevis Security Initiatives (CSSKNSI) held a donation ceremony on Wednesday at the Independence Square in support of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force to hand over a German shepherd to the police K-9 Unit. In addition, the ceremony provided an opportunity to share the importance of proper animal care to the general public. The CSSKNSI was formed to promote unity through one voice representing several organizations on the island.

“I am appreciative that the coalition has chosen to invest in the safety of our community,” said Commissioner Celvin G. Walwyn, Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force. “I would like to thank the group for providing us with another tool in the fight against crime as we take back the streets of St. Kitts and Nevis.”

The newest canine (dog) member of the police force was primarily funded by Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and the Royal St. Kitts Hotel and Casino with the support of the other members of the CSSKNSI. The police dog, Prego, was selected with guidance from the Commissioner based on his experience with other canine programs in the U.S. Prego and his handler, Constable Julius Wyatt of the Criminal Investigations Department, completed a month-long course at a law enforcement dog training facility. Prego shares a bond with Constable Wyatt and will protect his handler and himself from physical threat. He will apprehend, release, and recall from pursuit on command.

Prego’s healthcare is being provided by Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. Assistant professor and clinician, Dr. Nicholas Spaccarelli explained the abilities of the dog.

“Police dogs are selected for their potential to focus, their drive to succeed, and their lasting stamina. Prego is trained in agility to enable him to overcome obstacles, as well as trained in evidence search to locate lost and stolen property, and weapons,” said Spaccarelli. “Today is an opportunity, an opportunity for each of us to realize the importance animals play in our society. From protection, to service, to companionship many of them make our lives better.”

The veterinarian also urged those present to CARE for their animals responsibly by providing tips: feed your pets the Correct food and provide them with fresh clean water; provide Appropriate shelter for your pet where he can be protected from the weather; seek Regular veterinary care for your animal and ensure that your pet has regular Exercise and training.

Speaking on behalf of CSSKNSI, Mr. John Zuliani, President, Royal St. Kitts Hotel, said that the businesses that form the CSSKNSI recognized the importance of donating a police dog because it would provide an asset to the Force in the fight against crime. “We continue to believe in the shared responsibility of fighting crime; it goes beyond just businesses and government; and we are here to do our part in improving the crime situation in St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Zuliani.

Wyatt and, his canine partner, Prego then executed a live demonstration as affirmation of Prego’s tracking skills. In this exercise, an instrument was dragged through grass and hidden behind a nearby tree. Prego was able to locate the item effortlessly by following its scent—keeping his focus through the bustling school children that had crowded the Square.

The ceremony concluded with representatives of the CSSKNSI presenting the Commissioner of Police, with Prego’s police uniform and feeding bowls. The commissioner officially welcomed Prego to the Police Force.

The CSSKNSI has previously donated a patrol vehicle and a forensics vehicle, 50 bulletproof vests, six laptop computers with cases, 50 rechargeable flashlights, and eight police bicycles to the police force. In addition, they have provided funding for police training, airfare and accommodations for instructors. The CSSKNSI includes Christophe Harbour, Cockleshell Bay Development, Four Seasons Nevis, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, St. Kitts Marriott Resort/Royal Beach Casino, Royal St. Kitts Hotel & Casino, and Windsor University.

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