Meet Grizzly and Argo, Newest Members of the Darien Police Force

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Eight fast legs, four sharp eyes, four rows of teeth (when needed) and, perhaps most importantly, two acute noses — all packaged in two trained police dogs — have just joined the force, Darien Police Department has announced.

Here’s the announcement:

Two new K-9 Teams have been placed into service this past month.

Darien Police Department photo

Darien Police Officer Leslie Silva with Grizzly, a 3-year-old chocolate labrador retriever.

Officer Leslie Silva, a two year veteran of the department, has been partnered with K-9 “Grizzly,” a 3-year-old chocolate lab. Officer Amanda Hinkley, also a two year veteran, has been partnered with K-9 “Argo,” a 1-year-old German Shepherd.

Both teams have successfully completed extensive obedience and narcotics detection training over the past several months. These two officers were chosen by the Darien Police Department administration as K-9 handlers based on supervisory recommendations, work performance, and having met the criteria of those who can responsibly care for and manage a police canine 24 hours a day, both on and off duty.

“Grizzly” was selected as a K-9 with incredible drive and a keen ability to detect narcotics in a variety of environments. K-9 “Argo” was selected based on his ability to detect narcotics, his exceptional courage, physical strength, and agility.

Amanda Hinkley Argo German Shepherd Darien Police 02-02-17

Darien Police Officer Amanda Hinkley with Argo, a year-old German shepherd

Although already certified in narcotics detection, “Argo” and Officer Hinkley will continue training in tracking, building searches, handler protection and apprehensions.

Both K-9s were purchased from and trained by Superior K-9 Services of New Milford.


Former Darien Police K-9 Unit: Officer Nicholas Aranzullo, then K-9 handler, now with the detective division, and retired K-9 Zulu

These two new K-9 Teams will succeed the former team of Officer Nicholas Aranzullo and K-9 “Zulu” who was the first K-9 team in the department’s history. K-9 “Zulu,” at 9 years old, was taken out of service and retired in December 2016, after an accomplished and decorated career. Aranzullo has since been assigned to the Detective Division.

The Darien Police Department is hoping to enhance the level of service and protection that it provides to the citizens of Darien by continuing and expanding upon our K-9 Program.

The unfortunate narcotic abuse epidemic that has unfolded in our area as well as numerous other parts of the country has demanded that we better equip ourselves to not only combat the problem but to protect our community.

These two teams will be a full-time addition to the department’s patrol force. They will respond to everyday patrol calls along with emergencies and critical incidents.

The K-9’s special abilities include:

  • Narcotic detection

    Leslie Silva Grizzly K-9 Darien Police

    Photo from Darien Police Department website

    Silva with Grizzly

  • Locating missing children
  • Evidence recovery
  • Building searches
  • Presence as a crime deterrent
  • Criminal apprehension
  • Public relations

The Darien Police Department is committed to providing the highest quality police services to the community. With these two newly established K-9 teams we reinforce our commitment to public safety while maintaining Darien’s reputation as an attractive, safe, and thriving community.

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