News at WilmU

The First State-Run Animal Control Officers Academy

The CJI, in partnership with Delaware Animal Services, created the nation’s first state-run Animal Control Officers Academy. In October, a graduation ceremony celebrating the newly minted animal control officers was attended by luminaries such as State Sen. Stephanie L. Hansen, Delaware Animal Services personnel, including Chief Mark Tobin and Executive Director Christina Motoyoshi, Delaware Department of Agriculture State Veterinarian Dr. Karen Lopez, State of Delaware Captain and Investigator Rebecca Stratton, and members of the Brandywine SPCA. The ceremony was led by CJI Consultant and former New Castle County Police Captain Mike Terranova.

During the 110-hour (or three-week) course, officers earned five certifications, including handcuffing techniques, Law Enforcement Information Sharing Service (LEISS); Armament Systems and Procedures (ASP, better known as batons), pepper spray, and taser. Trainees were also educated on animal cruelty, arrest, search and seizure laws, rabies protocol, and de-escalation techniques for special populations.

Newly minted animal control officers. From left: Devaroo Shelton, Marissa Hoyes, Grace Bentley, Justin Madden, Payton Hadley, Clement Barnwell, Trey Thompson

Instructors included several highly regarded state and county police, as well as Tobin, a nationally certified K9 instructor and former master corporal of the New Castle County Police K9 Unit. The WilmU alumnus also founded a K9 Police Academy via a partnership with Delaware Technical Community College and supervised over 36 units in the Mid-Atlantic area. 

“Working with Wilmington University and the CJI has helped build a foundation for the state of Delaware and the service we provide to its
residents,” says Tobin.

—Maria Hess

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