Donation of Canine Vests to Office of Public Safety Marks Longstanding Partnership between Berkeley College and White Plains Community

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Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
973-278-5400, ext. 1-5122




Photo Caption: Thomas Roach, Mayor, City of White Plains, NY, addresses the crowd following a ceremony marking the donation of funds by Berkeley College to the Office of Public Safety for the purchase of two canine bulletproof vests for the K-9 Unit of the White Plains Police Department. 

Members of the Berkeley College and White Plains communities enjoyed a brief ceremony today as Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College, acknowledged the donation of two bulletproof vests for the K-9 police officer units assigned to the Office of Public Safety, City of White Plains.

“Berkeley College has had a longstanding relationship with the White Plains community since 1945.  Our employees, our students, and our graduates live and work here,” said President Smith.  “Due to the great leadership in this community, we are very fortunate, because we all feel safe here, including our international students. Safety is a hallmark of this community and Berkeley is pleased to continue showing support for this valuable resource.”

Berkeley College supported the City’s efforts to add canine officer teams when the Office of Public Safety began using the animals nine years ago. Now that those canines have retired, the College continued its support for the two new canines.  The cost of the customized bulletproof vests was about $1,400.


Photo Caption: Steven Spano, White Plains Police Officer (left) with his canine, Mickey, wearing one of the bulletproof vests purchased with funds donated by Berkeley College. Top right: Dignitaries at the brief ceremony recognizing the partnership between Berkeley College and the City of White Plains are (left to right:) Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College; David Chong, Commissioner, Office of Public Safety and Thomas Roach, Mayor, both of the City of White Plains; and Benjamin Boykin, Chairman, Westchester County Board of Legislators. Bottom right: A journalist conducts an interview with K-9 Unit Police Officer Steven Spano and his K-9, Leo.

“Thank you for being our partner,” said David Chong, Commissioner, Office of Public Safety, City of White Plains. “Our new canines can use these vests and will be well protected for what they do. Your students gave us a donation to establish these K-9 units that do tremendous work. You should know that our canines also are good citizens as they go into our schools.”

Mayor Thomas Roach also expressed his appreciation for the partnership Berkeley College has with the City of White Plains. “In addition to the work with Public Safety, Berkeley students also work in the Mayor’s office and in the Youth Bureau, and it is always a good feeling to see them when I come out of my office,” said Mayor Roach.

Other dignitaries in attendance included Benjamin Boykin, Chairman, Westchester County Board of Legislators; and Joseph Castelli, Chief of Police, White Plains Police Department, as well as other police officers, including Brian Johnson and his K-9, Mickey; Steven Spano and his K-9, Leo; and Lieutenant Daniel McMahon, Executive Officer, Special Operations, Emergency Services.

About Berkeley College
A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls more than 7,000 students – including more than 350 international students – in its Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs. Students can study in more than 20 career fields. Berkeley College is comprised of the Larry L. Luing School of Business®, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Health Studies and the School of Liberal Arts. The School of Graduate Studies offers an MBA in Management online and in Woodland Park, NJ.

Berkeley College has three New York campuses – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. In New Jersey there are four campuses – Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. For six consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans. The website address is

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