PRCC’s K-9, Cooper, helps keep the campus safe
Published 7:00 am Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Pearl River Community College has a new, furry face patrolling campus.
Officer Cooper is a 5-year-old chocolate lab mix working with campus police to help keep PRCC’s campus safe, Vice President Dr. Adam Breerwood said.
He even has his own PRCC ID card.
Cooper was transferred from Pearl River Central High School so he could be better utilized at the college, Breerwood said.
Cooper is trained to detect narcotics on campus, but he has become a mascot, he said.
“Now that we have Cooper here with us, he’s ready if we need him,” Breerwood said.
Some days, Cooper can be seen strolling through campus with his new handler Shana Neff.
Cooper used to live in a dorm on campus, but after his former handler resigned, Cooper moved to Neff’s family home two weeks ago where he has more space to run around, Breerwood said.
Neff said Cooper loves being able to walk around campus and is very loyal to her.
Cooper runs through his training exercises monthly, keeping his senses keen to detect marijuana and methamphetamine, Neff said. When walking through the dorm buildings, he can detect any of those substances through closed doors.
“We want our students to realize that we have a level of expectation when they arrive on campus,” Breerwood said, adding that Cooper’s presence helps deter potential drug issues.
The college also requires the students to go through drug education and prevention programs during orientation.
“I think Cooper reinforces Pearl River’s commitment to those issues,” he said.