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November 1, 2017 - 12:32pm

K9 team joins Village of Corfu PD

posted by Howard B. Owens in corfu, crime, news, notify.


Given the expense of buying and training police K9s, you wouldn't expect a small village like Corfu to have a K9 officer, let alone a handler with two dogs. In fact, just a couple of years ago, Corfu residents wondered if they would even keep their police force.

But a loss for one village is a gain for another.

Officer Anthony Bartucca, with 27 years experience in law enforcement and K9s "Rocco" and "King" by his side, became available to Corfu after the Village of Lyons dissolved and shut down its police department.

"We're very blessed that this situation came up," said Mayor Biggs Johnson. "It’s not a situation where we had to go out and purchase a K-9 or pay for the training. He’s already got certifications. We just have to maintain the training."

Rocco is an advanced drug-detection dog who can also perform tracking and trailing duties. King sniffs out explosives and weapons.

"Rocco will sniff out all drugs known to man, including pharmaceutical drugs, which you know is now more prevalent than street drugs," Bartucca said.

The K9 team joined the 14-officer police force five weeks ago; all are part time.

Rocco, 6 1/2 years old, is a Belgian Malinois and German shepard mix, and 2-year-old King is purebred German shepard.

Johnson thinks the team will have a region-wide impact, given Corfu's nexus at major traffic arteries -- Route 77 and Route 33. Johnson said he's concerned both about drugs and human trafficking passing through the area.

"I know we’re a small village, but because of where we are, where we’re located in close proximity to the Thruway, I think we can do quite a bit to help curb a lot of that activity," Johnson said.

Rocco was a big hit at Corfu's Halloween party last night. He was super friendly, eager to meet every person that came his way.

"He’s a big lovey until I tell him not to be," Bartucca said.





The Village of Corfu PD has a new motto: "Serving with Honor, Integrity & Pride; Protecting with Courage." Officer Cameron Leight on the left.

david spaulding
david spaulding's picture
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 12 2011 - 5:46pm

ok so the dog can detect human trafficking ? and the drugs omg the drugs. Corfu is there an issue with drugs over there? first I've heard of it...The police will lie they do lie and folks it's right there in your face....let's stop back next year and see how well the new police officer has cleaned up Corfu's drug problems and the human trafficking....? Corfu can you show the public one case of human trafficking that you assisted in in any way shape or form? no? lol but your little pooch is on guard and all ready to find and bite them if they dare come through town...... Attention human traffickers stay away from Corfu they have a dog looking for you...... just another way to harass people passing through town and pick their pockets.

Ed Hartgrove
Ed Hartgrove's picture
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2012 - 11:54am

David. Does a human who's being "trafficked" smell different from other?

"Rocco will sniff out all drugs known to man...".

Huh? If that IS true, while I highly doubt it, I hope Corfu has deep pockets. How long before somebody is pulled over, let's say for discussion's sake, for having a non-working taillight. So, the officer approaches the vehicle and asks for license, registration and insurance. The driver acts "flustered", and starts frantically searching for their "papers". The officer notices the driver's demeanor, then notices that the driver's eyes are a little bloodshot (because the driver suffers from "hay fever", unbeknownst to the officer).

So, he/she starts questioning the driver. "I see you're acting a little fidgety, ma'am. Is there something going on that I should know about? I mean, I only stopped you for a taillight not working, and you seem to be all shook up about it. And, I notice that your eyes are bloodshot. Have you been drinking tonight? No? Is there anything in the vehicle that I should know about? You don't have any knives, guns or bombs in there, do you? No? How about illegal substances? No? Would you mind stepping out of the vehicle for me, please? Just for MY safety, ma'am.

So, the driver gets out, and, at this point, is extremely "shaken up". They were merely driving home after a grueling day at work, and now they're being questioned about drugs and bombs and such? And then they're being asked to get out of the vehicle? They have no idea what's going on, and now, they're even more nervous.

So, the officer continues. "In my experience, people don't normally act this way, ma'am, simply because of a taillight being out. I'm going to ask you if you'd mind doing a field sobriety test for me."

Which, the driver does. And, SURPRISE OF ALL SURPRISES, doesn't do well on.

Think it's easy? Try standing on one foot, with your arms down to your side, lifting you foot approximately 6-inches off the ground. Now, as the officer will explain to you, "keep the lifted foot horizontal with the ground" (not pointing up - which isn't that easy to begin with), "and begin counting like this, one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, until I tell you to stop". (And, don't forget, you're not supposed to use your arms for balance - that's a no-no). I've watched officers on A&E's "Live PD" show have drivers reach one thousand forty-five before they said, "OK, stop".

So, the officer calls for both, the K9 and a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). Fifteen minutes later, the K9 officer and the DRE show up, The K9 officer runs his dog around the vehicle, and, meanwhile, the DRE performs his "tests".

VOILA! The dog detects SOMETHING in the vehicle. So, now they have probable cause to search your vehicle. Which they do. They spend the next half hour rummaging through the vehicle until they come across the culprit. Two 80mg tablets of "heart healthy" Bayer aspirins that had fallen under the seat.

If the driver is lucky, they let her continue on her way. If she ISN'T so lucky, the DRE says that, due to HIS experience and training, and, his observance of the motorist's bloodshot eyes and demeanor, he believes that she's on "some kind" of illegal substance. They place her in handcuffs, take her to the station and/or hospital for further investigation, and, impound the vehicle.

Don't think it can happen? It can, and, it has. I give you Cobb County (GA) officer, T.T. Carroll. Officer T.T.Carroll is (was) Georgia's "top-rated" Drug Recognition Expert. (from http://reason.com/blog/2017/05/12/georgia-pd-our-drug-recognition-experts )

Katelyn Ebner filed an internal affairs complaint after passing a drug test, but said Cobb County investigators insisted "the test results come back wrong all the time." She said investigators told her a urine test would have come back positive. Ebner says she took a urine test, which came back negative, herself.

And, from http://www.11alive.com/article/news/investigations/the-drug-whisperer-dr... ,
[11Alive News Chief Investigator Brendan Keefe] asked Ms. EBNER, "Before you felt the handcuffs closing over your wrist, did you understand just how serious this was?"

She replied, "I didn't understand,". "As soon as I took that breathalyzer, I thought I was going home."

The waitress spent the night in jail, had her alcohol server's permit revoked because of the arrest. After four months, prosecutors dismissed all her charges -- because the blood test came back completely clean.

"You had to spend months -- and thousands of dollars -- proving your innocence," Keefe said.

"I did," Ebner said.

And, Ms. Ebner wasn't the only INNOCENT victim of Officer T.T. Carroll. 11Alive News uncovered at least 2 others - and, we will probably never know exactly how many there were.

I remember reading several articles about Officer T.T. Carroll, the "top-rated" DRE in Georgia. One of them even quoted Officer Carroll's police chief, saying he trusted Officer Carroll's judgement more than scientific medical test, when it came to drug recognition.

As I said, I hope Corfu has deep pockets, because there may come a time when they are sued for over-zealous law enforcement. Especially if that K9 can " sniff out all drugs known to man". As the dog, I'm assuming, doesn't know the difference between which ones are legal, and, which ones aren't, I forsee some problems.

Eugene Jankowski Jr
Eugene Jankowski Jr's picture
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Oct 24 2013 - 11:05pm

David Spaulding and Ed Hartgrove. I was unaware of your vast legal experience in police work and K-9 dog/training. The Village of Corfu is excited to capitalize on a great opportunity to enhance the public safety of their village and nearby Darien Lake and all you come up with is your usual very long, ranting, negative, naysayer responses? I recommend you both put down the key board for five minutes and go meet Officer Bartucca and K9 Rocco in person before you publicly judge and trash them. The 10 negative people have had the floor long enough. It's time for the positive people to be vocal and take their community back.

Ed Hartgrove
Ed Hartgrove's picture
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2012 - 11:54am

Mr. Jankowski. I believe that, if you took the time to read my comment, you'll notice that I never publicly judged and trashed Officer Bartucca or K9 Rocco. And, you are probably unaware of my "vast legal experience in police work and K-9 dog/training", because I don't have any, nor, ever claimed to have any.

I even left the option open that it might be possible that K9 Rocco "will sniff out all drugs known to man..." (which Howard quoted Officer Bartucca as saying), although I still highly doubt it. When I said I highly doubted Rocco could "sniff out all drugs known to man..." , it means that I have a suspicion that the statement was an exaggeration - but, it COULD be true.

I try to be as accurate as I can when posting comments. I (normally) rely on personal experiences (which I KNOW to be true), but, as I haven't had EVERY experience known to man, I usually research the subjects I speak about.

I posted a "scenario" that, if the K9 being used COULD "sniff out all drugs known to man..." might be something that COULD happen. According to the American Society of Canine Trainers (from their website, http://www.asctk9.org/id55.html ), "The dog must be trained, certified and reliable. The dog does not have to be 100% accurate or perfect. The court has recognized the fact that “false positives” occur and dogs can be as low as 62% accurate."

I tried to point out that innocent people sometimes can be, have been, and, probably, will continue to be, harmed physically, mentally, and/or financially, by over-zealous law enforcement officers. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to find where that has happened (Disclaimer: I don't purport to be, or ever having been, a rocket scientist).

I didn't say, nor would I say, that Officer Bartucca was an over-zealous officer - unless I had some knowledge of that. I certainly meant no disrespect to him. Nor to his chosen profession. I highly respect law enforcement officials that do their "duties" in a lawful way. In fact, I have three "relatives" who are/were law enforcement officials, one of which was the Genesee County Sheriff's K9 deputy for many years. And, as long as their "actions" are/were done in a lawful way, I have nothing BUT respect for them.

Ed Hartgrove
Ed Hartgrove's picture
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2012 - 11:54am

Mr. Jankowski. If you go to https://freepressokc.com/bike-ride-turns-to-fearful-encounter-with-police/ , and read the article (and, the copy of the officer's "call log"), I believe you'll see what I was talking about. Please, watch the video and listen to the officer's conversation with the "suspect", when he says, "... you were throwing stuff at me.. handed me the ID card like you wanted to use it as a weapon and throw it at me...".

I'm sorry. I may be almost 70 years old, but, I don't believe my eyes and ears deceived me. Unless, of course, the video I watched and listened to was a fake one. I suppose it COULD be. I'd have to ask the Oklahoma City Police Department for a public record's request for the body-camera footage, to be 100% sure that it's real. But, I'm fairly convinced that it isn't fake.

Please notice that the LEO had not arrested Ms. Pierce for anything (nor, did he EVER place her under arrest, from what I can see), yet, from what I observed from his body-worn camera, he ILLEGALLY searched her backpack. I say illegally, because, again, from what I saw, he had NO PROBABLE CAUSE to search her belongings, nor, had asked for her consent to search her belongings. In my opinion, THAT is an example of an over-zealous law enforcement official (not to mention one whom I believe violated her 4th Amendment right - which states, “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Furthermore, from http://www.oklahoma-criminal-defense.com/media/infographic-your-rights-i..., it states, "However, Oklahoma is not a "stop and identify" state. Unless you are a driver as described previously, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PROVIDE IDENTIFICATION" (emphasis is by me) "to police during a casual encounter OR IF YOU ARE DETAINED." (again, emphasis is by me). "If you are arrested, however, you do have to provide identification".

THIS is what I tried to relate to in my previous comments on this thread.

Any opinion, Mr. Jankowski?

david spaulding
david spaulding's picture
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 12 2011 - 5:46pm

... Eugene, like other residents of Corfu you've been given lies by the police in print. I point out the lies and you claim I am negative, oh well, that's the way it is in America today. people give away their rights and freedoms to feel safe and they will believe what the shiny badge tells them.... I am not a fool ... I won't waste my time talking to lying cops. .... I've been through the Corfu road blocks years ago, nothing but harassment and a money grab..... good luck with your police dog, may it put an end to human trafficking and all the drugs known to man kind in Corfu......

Eugene Jankowski Jr
Eugene Jankowski Jr's picture
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Oct 24 2013 - 11:05pm

My opinion—Millions of police contacts occur every year with the vast majority ending in a positive outcome. You guys are dragging in an uncomfortable incident from the past and an incident from the other end of the country and relating it to a proud village in Genesee County. I suggest you let the people of Corfu run their village as they see fit. Personally, I think it’s a great little village filled with people who are proud of their police department. I rather enjoyed the good news. I’d like to see more stories of people working together to make their neighborhoods and cities a better place to be. Don’t be that cranky neighbor that all the kids are afraid of when their ball lands on your lawn.

david spaulding
david spaulding's picture
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 12 2011 - 5:46pm

Eugene you sound like a politician or maybe a h.s. football coach..... It wasn't too long ago that Corfu was about to go down the toilet and return to Genesee co. I had hope. The last time I went through Corfu I saw a gas station, a bar and the funeral home that I was there to visit. Not much more there except "revenue raisers" aka Corfu police. They won't lie about that fact. Can you believe there are 14 of them? They lie in wait like a snake and slither out when a victim passes through. I've had to go through the false accusations of " I smell marijuana" by Corfu's cops. Pissed me off too. They wanted to search my vehicle, didn't happen. However now they have the barking patrolman that will give a false hit on command and they will search. Look up false hit on you tube. But hey who cares about your rights as an American when there are drugs and human traffickers out there? Good luck Eugene with your proud village ....land of the free home of the brave ....

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