Local police and their dogs to make cameos on TV show


VERGENNES — Two Vergennes Police Department members, one Vermont State Police trooper from the New Haven barracks and two police canines from those agencies are set to make cameos on this week’s episode of “Golden Boy,” a CBS show that debuted in February.

Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel and his dog, Akido; Vermont State Police Sgt. Eugene Duplissis and his canine, Argus; and Vergennes detective Jason Ouellette were all invited to New York City in October to film brief appearances in the show.

“Golden Boy” airs on CBS at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays. It has not been a ratings smash, despite some favorable critical and viewer reviews, and according to several sources its renewal for a second season is in doubt.

According to imdb.com, the show tells the story of “the meteoric rise of an ambitious cop who becomes the youngest police commissioner in the history of New York City, and the high personal and professional cost he pays to achieve it. As he’s interviewed for a story about his career, Walter William Clark Jr. (played by Theo James) flashes back on his hard-fought journey from street kid to the most powerful man in law enforcement.”

Merkel said Duplissis and Ouellette, dressed as members of New York’s finest, will have the first scene in this week’s show, a scene set in an amusement park. They will be walking with James and co-star Chi McBride when word comes of a discovery.

The story next shifts to tree roots next to a bay, and that’s where Merkel and Akido come in. Akido has sniffed out a sock in the tree roots that is a clue in a child kidnapping case, Merkel said, and he and the city police canine then get their camera time.

Merkel said the invites to appear on “Golden Boy” came courtesy of a retired N.Y.P.D. detective named Jimmy Bodnar, whom he met back in 2006 and cooperated with on a murder case. Merkel, then with the Middlebury force, was investigating a drug case in Middlebury that turned out to be related to a drive-by shooting in New York, and the joint effort eventually resulted in an arrest in New Jersey.

After that investigation, the two stayed in touch. Bodnar took medical retirement and became a television consultant, and now works on two other CBS shows, “Blue Bloods” and “Elementary,” as well as “Golden Boy.” In October, Bodnar called Merkel and said “Golden Boy” needed canines that could bark on command for what will be its 10th episode. Merkel, Duplissis and Ouellette and the dogs all went down.

Merkel said it was a great experience for the Vermonters, both in seeing how a TV show is put together and in how well they were welcomed and treated by the production crew.

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Addison County Independent