K-9 Gronk joins Athol Police

By: News Staff

Email: news@abc6.com

Twitter: @ABC6

ATHOL, Mass. (WLNE) — As training nears for the New England Patriots’ Robert "Gronk" Gronkowski, a furrier Gronk wraps up his training and begins his work as a full-time K-9 officer in western Massachusetts.

"Gronk," the one-year-old German Shepard was sworn into the Athol Police Department Sunday afternoon at the Athol Summerfest after completing training with his current handler, Officer Craig Deveneau, at the prestigious Boston Police K-9 academy, according to a press release.

Gronk will now begin his work as a force multiplier with the ability to track missing persons and suspects, search and clear buildings, assist other officers and locate narcotics. 

“In addition to fighting crime, Gronk will be an important asset in strengthening the relationship between our police department and the community,” said Athol Police Chief Russell Kleber in a statement.

“Gronk will encourage better relations with law enforcement through community outreach in all parts of society from schools to assisted living facilities,” said Kleber.

The Athol Police Department was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Stanton Foundation to cover acquisition, training and ongoing costs for Gronk for three years, said Town Manager Shaun Suhoski. The Stanton Foundation assists municipalities with limited resources to add dynamic assets to law enforcement operations.

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