Search and Rescue
Ground Zero

Hansen worked on-site at Ground Zero for 150 days.

“It was 6 months after the attacks that K9 Hansen and I reported to Ground Zero for a 6 am to 6 pm tour. We were requested to respond for a search. So after driving the gator, with Hansen, to search area we climbed down 100 feet into a hole where Hansen located several victim remains.”

“I rewarded him with “good boy, good job”, letting him know he had done his job and we were done. Hansen ran up the hill ahead of me to get back into the gator. I noticed him jump out and start to dig on the side of the road. By the time I got to him he had already dug a hole almost 1 foot down. Never in the six months there had I seen him act this way. Another emergency service officer came to see what we were doing.

I said Hansen is going crazy so we all started digging. We went about 2 feet down and I was ready to call it off when we uncovered a G shock watch. The next shovel uncovered the arm that it was on. Any body part this big was very rare so we called for more officers to help. After a slow hand dig we realized it was a complete body. Then one of the officers found a gun. We reported the gun and they said we had recovered Officer Perry. Officer Perry was retiring on Sept. 11 and was at headquarters. He ran to the Trade Center after the first plane hit. This was a great recovery for the police department. Everyone talked about how Hansen had found Officer Perry. Then the Chief said they had good info that Sgt. Curtin was with Officer Perry. Hansen and I had worked many jobs with Sgt. Curtin. So once again I seen Hansen out and in about 2 minutes and about 3 feet away he started digging like crazy. We all looked at each other and said “no way”. In a few hours we found a machine gun which was Sgt. Curtin’s. His complete body was recovered. Even being able to read his name on his uniform. Sgt. Curtin had been a marine before becoming a police officer. He had helped dig out a marine that was killed in the Oklahoma City bombing. This was a proud day for me and Hansen to bring home 2 of our own.”

Hansen, a Belgian Shepherd Dog, worked on site for approximately 150 days. He was honored with numerous awards for his service including a memorial statue at a local park in Lindenhurst, New York.

– Steve Smaldon