BATAVIA — It took about a year and a half to gather the donations needed to make the obstacle course possible, but now the county Sheriff’s Office K9 program has a place to give its two dogs, Rayzor and Frankie, additional training.
Genesee County Undersheriff Bradley Mazur said Rochester Area Crime Stoppers approached the Sheriff’s Office about the obstacle course.
“Joyce Palumbo was the coordinator”. She worked with our two K9 deputies, Deputy Andrew Mullen and Deputy James Stack. This was a project that they initiated. We found the funding, whether it was the materials, the labor and the financial assistance to start the project,” Mazur said. “We thought it was a good time and, without that effort from Joyce, we wouldn’t be here today.”
The obstacle course presents the K9s with obstacles they may face during a real deployment, the undersheriff said.
The course will be used by law enforcement agencies for training purposes, Mazur said. The obstacles include crawling under porches, jumping through house/building windows, climbing ladders and walking on unstable surfaces. The course will primarily be used by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit as well as other outside law K9 units upon request and availability.
“This gives them the opportunity to train, to gain that confidence, so when they are sent to the field, both the K9 and the handler are confident they can complete that,” Mazur said.
The course is located at the Genesee County Fire Training Center and is the result of a partnership with the Rochester Area Crime Stoppers.
Stack said he and his partner, Rayzor, have been out on the obstacle course almost every night, exercising and getting Rayzor used to the obstacles.
“We’ve had it for maybe a couple of weeks now,” Stack said of the course.
Palumbo said the project started out with an idea to give the K9 program here its own obstacle course.
“We have great support from BOCES who jumped in at the last minute and created a lot of what you see here,” she said. “Thank you to everyone who participated and put up with me for a year and a half of phone calls. That’s how long it took.”
All labor and materials — from design, layout, construction, and completion were donated through a collaboration with local businesses that included several grants. There was no cost to taxpayers.
The Sheriff’s Office thanked several groups for their hard work and dedication: Crime Stoppers and Palumbo; CountryMax Stores and Brad Payne, director of sales; Tim Mullen, assistant manager, Batavia Home Depot store; KeyBank
Rochester Market President and Regional Commercial Executive Phil Muscato and Executive Assistant Mark Krueger; Genesee Valley BOCES Building Trades Program — Director of Instructional Programs Jon Sanfratello and Batavia Campus Executive Principal Margaret Poray; and Hoselton Auto Mall — President Drew Hoselton and Leasing Manager Chris Cammarata, and the Hoselton Auto welding team.
“It was an effort by many, many members of our community and from businesses throughout our area,” Sheron said. He also thanked the Genesee County Legislature for its support.
Sheriff William Sheron Jr. said the K9 program, throughout the years, has been greatly supported by the community.
“When we’ve had the passing of a K9 in the past and it took funds to purchase a new dog, the community comes together,” he said. “The support they give us is unbelievable.”