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Merrimack Valley

January 10, 2014

Salisbury's new K-9 unit gets to work

(Continued)

“I get to go to work with a dog. How awesome is that?” Dellaria said.

Also new for Dellaria is his uniform. Looking more para-military, the uniform features an exterior bulletproof vest and extra compartments and straps up front for items he would normally wear behind his back around his belt. The uniform is less cumbersome than a patrol officer uniform and the absence of items on his back allows for greater safety and mobility.

The next six weeks will see Herc become acclimated to the other officers in the department, the police station and the patrol area town in general. At the moment, Herc is still very protective of his territory and doesn’t get along with other dogs. When in Dellaria’s specially outfitted cruiser, Herc makes no qualms about who actually owns it.

“He thinks the car is his,” Dellaria said, adding Herc will bark loudly when people come close to the cruiser.

Despite the weeks it will take Herc to become 100 percent comfortable with his fellow officers and the town in general, Dellaria said his partner is ready to serve the citizens of Salisbury.

“He’s as sharp as he can be,” Dellaria said.

While Dellaria and Herc will typically work a 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. shift, the unit will be available to the 10 communities that belong to a mutual aid pact.

For years, the town called upon the services of Amesbury K-9 officer Thomas Nichols and his partner, Kaybar. The Amesbury K-9 unit was one of the few in the Greater Newburyport area until Monday.

Fowler stressed that Herc would soon become a part of the community and will be featured in public relations-themed events including visits to schools and with the elderly.

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