Baker signs law to let EMTs treat and transport injured police dogs | News


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EASTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — Police K-9’s are a crucial part of local police departments and just last week, Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill that will provide these well-trained dogs with more protection.

Nearly a dozen K-9’s and their handlers attended a training at the Westover Air Reserve base in Chicopee on Tuesday. These dogs from across western Massachusetts practicing their tracking skills, which will be used in the field to find drugs, criminals, or missing people.

“K-9’s are a tool unlike no other tool that we have,” said Easthampton Police Det. Andrew Beaulieu.

Just a few years ago, Beaulieu and his K-9 Gino were involved in an accident.

“I was hit by a drunk driver a couple years ago in the line of duty with my K-9 partner,” Beaulieu added.

Thankfully, they were okay, but if K-9 Gino had been hurt, it may have been hard to get him the help he needed.

“I did not have a way to transport him or treat him at the scene if there had been something wrong with him. The only option we had up until that point was to get another cruiser to the scene, put him back in the cruiser, and transport him ourselves to a veterinary service area,” Beaulieu explained.

Now, things have changed. On February 15, Baker signed Nero’s Law, which allows a law enforcement K-9 injured in the line-of-duty to be taken in an ambulance to a vet if there is not a human needing emergency transportation.

The legislation was inspired by K-9 Nero, the partner of Yarmouth Police Sergeant Sean Gannon, who was killed in the line-of-duty. Nero suffered life-threatening injuries in the attack and could not travel by EMS.

Yarmouth Police Nero K-9 022222

Photo: Yarmouth Police

“They’re in just as much of risk of danger as we are. They are our partners with us 24 hours a day,” Beaulieu noted.

Beaulieu told Western Mass News that he considers Gino his partner – an equal on the force.

“The amount of money and time really that’s placed into that dog, you can’t get that back,” Beaulieu said.

He said that’s why legislation like this is extremely important.

“We’re just extremely glad that we now have that added protection for our dogs. It’s always something that’s in the back of our minds if something happens to our partner, how we can help them and treat them and transport them. Now, we have that ability with this law,” Beaulieu added.

Copyright 2022. Western Mass News (WGGB/WSHM). All rights reserved.

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