It’s been just over two years that K-9 TJ and Officer Tamra French have been working together. Just as with her former K-9, Chase, the two partners work the evening shift. 

“I absolutely love being a K-9 handler again, it truly is the best job,” French said. 

K-9 TJ is three years old now and always eager to work, she said. He has been used in Easton for car searches, building searches and tracking.  While at work and while off duty the K-9 and handler are constantly meeting people who tell French they love K-9 TJ and are huge fans of his. K-9 TJ’s instagram page, @eastonpd_k9tj, which has more than 14,000 followers from people all over the United States and other countries like Canada and the UK.  

Over the past two years, they have assisted other police departments with K-9 demonstrations, school searches, tracks for suspects and narcotic searches. K-9  TJ has also been called upon several times to assist the DEA with arrest/search warrants. During these raids K-9 TJ has been very successful and has located large quantities of drugs and money, French said.  

They continue to attend training twice a month to hone our skills and train with several teams from the area.  They certify annually with the National Police Canine Association and North American Police Work Dog Association. Recently, they attended a three-day advanced building search class in East Hartford to expose the canines to different environments and scenarios. This improves the search time during building searches and makes it safer for the human officers as well, French said.

“Even while working and off duty I am constantly training with K-9 TJ to continue to make us a better team,” French said. “One very important aspect of this training is socializing K-9 TJ to many different environments and people.” 

K-9  TJ and French have attended various public events like Trunk or Treat and have performed demonstrations for organizations like the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and even helped the Easton Library with its summer reading program. Doing these public demonstrations and working with officers from police departments all over the region prepares K-9 TJ to be able to adapt to every situation.  

“As a patrol dog it is vital that K-9 TJ can work in close proximity to other officers during the raids we do with SWAT teams and the DEA, so socializing K-9 TJ is very important,” French said. “K-9 TJ is truly an asset to the town of Easton and I’m grateful to be his partner.”

K-9 TJ and Officer Tamra French after a skills demonstration, showing the fun side of their partnership.
— David Buck photo
Officer Tamra French, handler, and K-9 TJ, her  partner, show the bond between them while at home, before leaving for work. — David Buck photo

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By Nancy Doniger

Nancy Doniger worked as a journalist for three decades and was a founding editor of the nonprofit Easton Courier in partnership with the School of Communications, Media & the Arts at Sacred Heart University (SHU). She served two years as executive member and is now a contributing editing of the Easton Courier. She was a former managing editor of Hometown Publications and Hersam Acorn Newspapers covering Connecticut's Fairfield and New Haven counties. She was a correspondent for the Connecticut section of The New York Times from 1995 until the section was discontinued in 2006. Over the years she edited The Easton Courier, The Monroe Courier, The Bridgeport News and other community newspapers. She taught news editing as an adjunct professor at SHU and served as coordinator and member of the Community Assets Network for the Easton, Redding and Region 9 schools. She was a member of the Newtown Community Center Commission, member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), board member of the New England Newspaper and Press Association (NENPA), and past president and board member of the Barnard Club of Connecticut. She has won awards for her writing from SPJ and NENPA.