Tribute Paid to WCPD Detective and Canine Partner

County Executive George Latimer honored a retiring detective and his canine partner and announced that Westchester’s next electronics storage detection canine will be assigned to the Department of Probation.

During his weekly media briefing, Latimer paid tribute to Westchester County Police Detective Brett Hochron and Harley the Cyber Dog. Harley is trained to sniff out hidden digital devices containing evidence needed in criminal investigations. These devices include SIM cards, thumb drives, hard drives, cell phones, tablets, laptop computers and other digital storage devices.

“We thank Detective Hochron and Harley for the great work they have done for the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Probation,” Latimer said. “I wish them both an enjoyable retirement.”

Due to Hochron and Harley’s successful collaboration with the Department of Probation, the decision was made that the County’s next electronics canine will be assigned to Probation. The canine will also be available when requested to support other law enforcement agencies and investigations.

Probation Commissioner Rocco Pozzi noted that Hochron and Harley worked closely with Probation’s Sex Offender Unit.

“Convicted sex offenders, as a condition of their probation, are often prohibited from possessing pornography, and they can even be prohibited from possessing a computer or any other digital device. Detective Hochron and Harley have assisted us in many sex offender investigations and home visits to find electronic devices that were hidden by these offenders.”

Pozzi said the new canine handler will be Supervisory Probation Officer Stephen Denaro. Denaro’s canine partner will be selected with assistance from Guiding Eyes for the Blind.
After the canine is chosen, it will be sent for six weeks of training at the Connecticut State Police Academy. It was CSP’s forensic scientists who identified a common chemical used in digital products and founded the discipline of electronics storage detection. Once the new canine successfully completes its first six weeks of training, Denaro will then join his new partner for six weeks of training together as a team.

Hochron and Harley have been taking “a byte” out of crime since they were teamed up in 2017. They have worked on a broad range of investigations in support of County, local and federal law enforcement agencies; Westchester County and federal Corrections agencies; and the Westchester County Department of Probation. Hochron and Harley have found evidence while executing search warrants or aiding investigations into a broad array of criminal cases involving financial fraud, child pornography, organized crime, gang activity and counter-terrorism.

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