Methuen Mayor Steve Zanni and Police Chief Joseph Solomon have announced that the Methuen Police Department’s K-9, “Buddy” and his handler, Officer Timothy Getchell, have completed 16 weeks of explosive recognition and detection training.
“We are proud of Buddy and Officer Getchell for completing this specialized training, which will add a vital resource to the Methuen Police Department and surrounding communities,” Chief Solomon said. “This advanced skill set is another way that we are constantly striving to keep our residents safe in every way possible.”
K-9 Buddy was transferred to the Methuen Police Department from the Guiding Eyes for the Blind program in New York in June. Just one month later, the 2-year-old Labrador Retriever began his explosive detection training with the Massachusetts State Police Explosive Detection Unit on July 17.
Upon completion of this initial training, K-9 Buddy and Officer Getchell began their formal training with the Connecticut State Police Canine Unit in September, and graduated from the 182nd Explosive Detection Canine Class on Friday, Oct. 28.
During the course of the program, Officer Getchell and K-9 Buddy trained extensively in the identification and detection of explosive materials. The pair practiced searching motor vehicles, busses, train stations, buildings, as well as people and open areas. K-9 Buddy is now trained to detect the odor of explosive material from a variety of sources and conditions, and even received “Top Dog” honors in the skills competition.
“This is another fine example of the Methuen Police Department taking the opportunity to advance the resources at their disposal,” Mayor Zanni said. “I am proud of this most recent accomplishment and am eager to watch K-9 Buddy interact with the community and continue to keep us safe.”
Officer Getchell and K-9 Buddy will continue to serve in the Community Outreach Unit. The team has already been called in to perform protective sweeps under the authority of the Massachusetts State Police in Lowell and Salem.