Meet Newest Sheriff’s Officer and Her K-9 Partner
RARITAN - Somerset County Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano presented the Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit’s newest K-9 sheriff’s officer and her K-9 partner, Basilone, at a recent Raritan Borough Council Meeting. The canine was named after Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone, Raritan’s native son and WWII hero.
In honor of John Basilone and the continued efforts to preserve his memory, I named our human tracking service dog Basilone,” said Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano.
Present at the tribute were Sgt. Basilone’s niece, Kim Van Note, and her granddaughter.
Raritan Mayor Charles McMullin read a proclamation welcoming Basilone, who is replacing Wildman, the recently retired bloodhound.
“John Basilone was a local and national figure and a Raritan native. He was a United States Marine Corps gunnery sergeant who was killed in action during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for heroism above and beyond the call of duty during the Battle of Guadalcanal and the Navy Cross posthumously for extraordinary heroism during the Battle of Iwo Jima,” said Sheriff Provenzano. “He was the only enlisted Marine to receive both of these decorations in World War II.”
Sheriff’s Officer Shannon Dinella and K-9 Basilone recently graduated from the Union County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Training Academy. They underwent nearly 600 hours of mock training over 16 weeks to become a unified team. Training involved jumping over barrels, crawling under low barriers, chasing after assailants and tracking suspects.
“Officer Dinella and her German shepherd partner are now detailed to human tracking to serve our community,” said Sheriff Provenzano. “They will be on-call 24-hours a day, seven days a week.”
The Somerset County Sheriff Office K-9 Unit is a very valuable resource to police agencies throughout Somerset County. The Unit currently has canines that work in the areas of narcotics, explosives, arson and human tracking.
For more information, contact Capt. Steve SanAntonio at (908) 231-7168.