Morris County News

Morris County Sheriff's K-9 Unit Comes to St. Patrick School in Chatham for "Genius Hour"

St. Patrick School students meet Morris County Sheriff's K-9 Unit dog, Cinders, on Wednesday Credits: TAP Chatham
Morris County Sheriff's Office K-9 Officers Jim VanValen and Mike Carbone, who talked to St. Patrick School students on Wednesday Credits: TAP Chatham
K-9 Officer Jim VanValen talks to St. Patrick's students Credits: TAP Chatham
St. Patrick School Principal Dr. Christine Ross and teacher Judy Almgren Credits: TAP Chatham
Officer Jim VanValen gets ready to show off Po's skills during a demonstration at St. Patrick School Credits: TAP Chatham
Officer Mike Carbone shows how he trains K-9 Boomer Credits: TAP Chatham
St. Patrick School students meet K-9 Cinders after the talk given by the Morris County Sheriff's K-9 Unit officers Credits: TAP Chatham

CHATHAM, NJ - Jim VanValen got a rise out of the St. Patrick School students when he described how his K-9 partner could track down a burglar who came into the school and stole all the homework assignments.

The Morris County Sheriff's K-9 Unit came to St. Patrick School in Chatham on Wednesday morning to give a talk on how the dogs are used to smell for explosives, accelerants, and track down humans on the run, during the school's "Genius Hour."

"The theme of the Genius Hour is how animals help us in everyday life," St. Patrick Principal Dr. Christine Ross said.

Sign Up for E-News

Members of the Morris County K-9 Unit, Mike Carbone and VanValen, explained how the dogs are trained and gave some demonstrations with K-9 members Po, Boomer and Cinders.

The Morris County K-9 Unit has 14 officers and seven dogs who are on call 24 hours, seven days a week. The dogs never leave the officers.

"Not only are they partners at work, they come home with us," Carbone, who currently has four dogs, said. "When they're not working, they do fun activities that other dogs do like hiking and swimming." 

Boomer, a nine-month-old German Shepherd-Lab mix, is a rescue from a shelter and Carbone is training the dog to sniff out explosives.

"It takes a year of training, six hours a day, to teach the dogs," Carbone said.

Sheriff's K-9 officers give a demonstration on how dogs are trained to apprehend suspects

K-9 officer Mike Carbone shows how he trains his 9-month-old dog, Boomer, to sniff for explosives

K-9 Officer Jim VanValen shows how Po obeys commands and plays tug-of-war


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


More Than Just Kindness for Roxbury Student Adored by Tragically Killed Boy

April 17, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ – She lost her 10-year-old son three years ago in a boating accident on Lake Hopatcong, but Laurie D’Amico is sure her beloved Christopher speaks to her all the time. It’s subtle but firm, she says; messages that come as sparks of recollection, inspiration or intuition.

One of those unexpected inklings led Laura and her husband Chris to a jewelry ...

Lake Hopatcong 'Floating Classroom' Launched at Roxbury

April 13, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ – The Lake Hopatcong Foundation on Wednesday launched onto Lake Hopatcong its long-awaited "floating classroom" educational vessel. The launch took place at Lake Hopatcong State Park in Landing.

The 40-foot covered catamaran pontoon boat seats 40. It will be used to teach area students and the public about Lake Hopatcong. The boat, built by ...

New Jersey Fashion Companies Capitalize on State Resources to Grow

April 19, 2018

NJ Business Action Center recently assisted Adore Me and Better Team USA to identify space and financing.

The U.S. apparel market is the largest in the world, valued at over 360 billion dollars. However, the market has been disrupted by the rise of e-commerce, and is moving beyond established locations like NYC’s garment district. 

That said, like every industry, fashion ...

April is STD Awareness Month and Get Yourself Tested Month

April 19, 2018

April is Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Awareness Month, a national campaign to increase awareness about education, treatment, and prevention of STDs.  

STDs are common, affecting 1 in 2 sexually active people during their lifetime - and most people don't know they are infected.  The rate of STDs is increasing, with a 68% increase in bacterial sexually transmitted ...

Upcoming Events


Fri, April 20, 6:30 PM

New Jersey Vasa Park, Budd Lake

CEC's Wine Tasting and Silent Auction

Food & Drink Giving Back

Sat, April 21, 10:00 AM

Landing Park, Landing

Pitch, Hit & Run (Softball & Baseball)


Sat, April 21, 6:00 PM

St Therese Auditorium, Succasunna

Charity auction and Tricky Tray

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink Giving Back

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse


MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 14

On this week’s AtlantiCast, an internationally recognized orthopedic oncologist takes a leadership role at Atlantic Health System, see the newest weapon in the fight against HPV-related cancers, Atlantic Health System leads the Castle Connolly / Inside Jersey Rankings, and much more!


Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (Citadel Press, 1970)


How does a reviewer do justice to a book called “the great American novel”? I first read Johnny Got His Gun during the Viet Nam war, when young people, nationwide, were protesting fighting in a war that was a senseless waste of life; a war in which the United States had no business participating.

The Truth About My Reading

The Truth About My Reading

I didn't get my Composition and Literature teacher at Montclair State College at all. A crusty old man with a dour disposition, Mr. Smith always seemed angry and rude. He appropriately intimidated freshmen, even me, an English major, who found this common core course beneath my dignity. Frankly, as a graduate of Highland Park High School, and a survivor of Mrs.