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‘The evolution of policing’ | 4-legged rookie changing the face of policing in Hartford

K-9 Kady is one of a dozen comfort dogs from Puppies Behind Bars boosting officer morale and serving the community.

HARTFORD, Conn. — There’s a rookie cop in Hartford getting lots of love. In just seven months on the job, K-9 Kady is building rapport in the community and boosting officer morale. She’s not your average police K-9. There are only a dozen police departments in Connecticut with comfort dogs. The Capital City is now among the latest.

Inside Hartford’s Public Safety Complex, detectives worked 39 homicides in 2022. This year, a furry rookie is bringing out a lighter side on Captain’s Row.

K-9 Kady’s job is to bridge a fractured relationship between a taxed police department and the community it serves. 

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“She brings a smile to their face and that’s what it’s all about here. Just kind of boost morale a little bit,” said Kady’s handler, Community Service Officer Anthony Gaudino.

Smiles are fewer and further between since the pandemic, this inspired Officer Guadino to apply for the nonprofit program Puppies Behind Bars, which granted Hartford a comfort dog. 

The department is now one of 12 police departments with comfort dogs. Bristol, Farmington, and Naugatuck are among the latest.

“You build a lot more rapport with citizens throughout the city as a community service officer,” Gaudino said. “You might be walking by yourself, and people will say hi to you but when you have her it turns into a four, five-minute conversation and you can build rapport with them.” 

Kady was trained at a correctional facility by an incarcerated person beginning at 8 weeks old and completed training after a year and a half. She knows more than 50 commands.

Thursday Kady helped read to fourth graders at M.D. Fox School Read Across America Day and took a stroll through dispatch. 

“We get a lot of overdoses, motor vehicle accidents, we get kids that run away, and it can be hectic. Kady comes in and she’s wagging her tail and she’s happy. And it’s just a break from everything. She relieves some of the stress,” said Dispatcher Pamela Bullock-Galloway.


Samaia Hernandez is a reporter for FOX61 News. She can be reached at shernandez@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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