Police - K-9 Unit
The Ocean Township Police Department K-9 Unit was created 1994 however officially adopted by the Township of Ocean in July of 1999. Corporal Robert Campanile provided much of the groundwork and foundation by which the current Police K-9 Unit is built. In 1999 the K-9 Unit was staffed with one full-time sworn police officer and one canine. The unit has since grown and now consists of two full-time sworn police officers and two canines. Both officers and their K-9 partner are assigned to the Police Department’s Uniform Patrol Division. They engage in a variety of specialized activities including search and rescue, apprehension of fleeing felons, building and area searches, and article and evidence searches. The K-9 teams maintain a high level of visibility and participate in a wide variety of public appearances, educational programs and K-9 demonstrations. Our dual-purpose canines have been trained not only to locate people but narcotic detection as well. K-9 handling requires a dedicated officer, who is driven and motivated. The K-9 handler is on call 24 hours seven days a week and takes his / her K-9 partner home with them.
In 2011, upon the retirement of Patrolman Shawn Denning, Patrolman James Capaccio, was assigned to the K-9 Unit. Patrolman Capaccio attended and successfully completed Basic K-9 Academy, where he obtained his patrol and narcotics certifications. In 2013 and 2014 the Ocean Township Police K-9 Unit hosted the United States Police Canine Association Region #15 police dog trials. This certification tests the dog’s agility, search ability, apprehension, article search and obedience. The K-9 teams are scored in five events by certified judges from around country.
In 2014 the K-9 Unit was expanded from one K-9 handler to two K-9 handlers. Patrolman Nicholas McGavin was chosen as the Department’s second K-9 handler. Adding the second officer to the unit has provided K-9 services 7 days a week. Patrolman Capaccio’s K-9 partner “Kaver” is a four year old Belgian Malinois, who is dual purpose certified in patrol and narcotics. Patrolman Nicholas McGavin’s K-9 partner “Remmi” is a two year old German Shepherd, who is also dual purpose certified in patrol and narcotics.
The K-9 unit is currently commanded by Sergeant James Capaccio, who was recently promoted to the rank of Sergeant. In 2007 Sergeant Capaccio was hired by the Ocean Township Police Department as a patrolman where he was assigned to the patrol division. As a patrol officer, Sergeant Capaccio attended the Ocean County S.W.A.T. Basic Operator course and was assigned to the Northern Ocean County SWAT team for four years. Sergeant Capaccio is one of the Department’s Firearms Instructor and has obtained the following certifications; Ocean County Police Academy certified Firearms Instructor, Assault Rifle Instructor, Glock armorer, and Colt M16/AR-15 armorer. Sergeant Capaccio is also a Field Training Officer and attended a certification course for Field Training Officers. Sergeant Capaccio has received various awards and commendations throughout his career. In 2013 he received the “Mother’s Against Drunk Driving” state recognition award. He was also the recipient of the 2013 Ocean Township Police Department “Officer of the Year” award and “High Firearms Award”. Sergeant Capaccio and K-9 Kaver are currently assigned to the Patrol Division as a member of Charlie Squad.
Patrolman Nicholas McGavin began his police career with the Ocean Township Police Department in 2013. Patrolman McGavin is a graduate of the Monmouth County Police Academy 84th Basic Class. Patrolman McGavin is also a graduate of the City of Long Branch Police Department’s Basic K-9 Academy. Patrolman Mcgavin and K-9 Remmi are currently assigned to the Patrol Division as a member of Delta Squad.
Past Ocean Township Police Department handlers and their K-9 partners
Cpl. Robert Campanile (Ret.): 1994-1999 K-9 Badge #1 K-9 Rowdy
K-9 Badge #2 K-9 Arras
K-9 Badge #3 K-9 Rambo
Ptl. Shawn Denning (Ret.) 1999-2011 K-9 Badge #4 K-9 Boy
K-9 Badge #5 K-9 Nitro
K-9 Badge #6 K-9 Focus
Sgt. James Capaccio 2011- current K-9 Badge #7 K-9 Kaver
Ptl. Nicholas McGavin 2014 – current K-9 Badge #8 K-9 Remi
Sergeant James Capaccio
Telephone: 609-693-4007 ext 315
Patrolman Nicholas McGavin
Telephone: 609-693-4007 ext 320