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Pawtucket Police Department Welcomes K-9 Units

PAWTUCKET – The Pawtucket Police Department and Mayor Donald R. Grebien are proud to announce the addition of K-9 units to the department. The dogs, which are the first K-9 units the Pawtucket Police Department have had since 2013, will fill a number of roles, from tracking and narcotics detection to acting as a therapy animal.

“We are so excited to once again have K-9 units as part of our department,” said Acting Public Safety Director and Police Chief Tina Goncalves. “These dogs are going to help our officers better serve the community and keep our residents safe.”

Each dog is paired with one Police Officer, making up a K-9 team. The department has added 4 such teams, 2 Patrol Teams, a Tracking Team, and a Compassion Team.

The two Patrol Teams consist of Officer James Leach and Magno, a 15-month old Belgian Malinois, and Officer Gregory Malo and Argo, a 14 month old Czech Shepard. Magno and Argo, as well as their Officers, have received 11 weeks of intensive training at the RI K-9 Academy, with more training to come in Spring 2019. They are trained in a number of roles, including narcotics detection, suspect apprehension, and building searches.

The Tracking Team consists of Officer William Figura and Neko, a 7-month old Bloodhound. Neko and Officer Figura are a specialized team, focusing on search and rescue operations. This means searching out missing persons, finding evidence, and locating suspects. Neko still has a fair amount of training to do, but when he is fully trained and fully grown, he will be the only certified Police Bloodhound in Southern New England.

Detective Trevor Lefebvre, however, is partnered with a new type of Police Dog, Watson the 10-month old Golden Doodle. Watson, a mix between a Poodle and a Golden Retriever, is a compassion dog. His job is to provide comfort to individuals who have experienced extremely traumatic events. He is the first full time Police Compassion animal in Rhode Island, and received 6 weeks of training at the RI K-9 Academy.

“Adding Magno, Argo, Neko, and Watson to our Police Department is just another example of the Pawtucket Police Department working diligently to improve themselves and their ability to serve our residents,” said Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien. “I am excited to see all the good the dogs and their Officers are able to accomplish.”

Watson, Magno and Argo have completed the bulk of their training, are certified to begin operations citywide. Neko will require some more training and time to mature before beginning operations. Magno and Argo will also be receiving advanced narcotics detection training in spring.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2019
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ontact: Wilder Arboleda
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