In November, Barringer Road Elementary second grade students met some very special four-legged members of the New York State Police K9 Unit and their handler, Trooper Kevin Conners. Trooper Conners is a 13-year veteran of the New York State Police Department who brought along Lynde, Schini, and a puppy who was temporary named “Holly.” He explained that all of the New York State Trooper dogs are named after actual troopers who had been killed in the line of duty as a tribute to them. For instance, Lynde is named in honor of Trooper Thomas C. Lynes who lost his life in the line of duty June 3, 1935.
Both Lynde and Schini are bloodhounds that are trained to track suspects, lost or missing persons, and evidence. While most dogs can follow a scent that is hours old, bloodhounds can track a missing person weeks later. They can discriminate by scent, picking out their target even in a large crowd. Trooper Conners described it in “kid” terminology by stating, “Everyone has their own pixie dust and bloodhounds follow it.” The dogs were very affectionate and friendly with the kids, as they visited with all of them during the presentation. At the end of the visit, each of the students received a trading card with Lynde’s picture on it as a keepsake. Everyone, including the teachers, learned a lot about bloodhounds thanks to Trooper Conners and his partners!