Canine program proposed for Marlborough Police
By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough-Public safety is high on the priority list of Mayor Arthur Vigeant and the City Council as they approve requests made by the local Police and Fire departments.
Funding for the establishment of a canine program for the Police Department, requested by Police Chief Mark Leonard, has been approved by the Finance Committee and will be brought before the full council at the next meeting, when the full budget is presented.
“The initial $15,000 will allow the program to get started and demonstrates that the city is behind the program – which will help in receiving grants and significant funding from state and federal agencies,” Leonard said.
Added Vigeant in his communication to the council, “I believe this program will strengthen our ability to preserve and protect the safety of our community.”
Leonard said the department will eventually purchase a dog, equipment, and a dedicated vehicle, as well as provide training for department personnel who will use the dog for drug tracking and detection. At the present time, Marlborough police have been using dogs from the State Police and Sheriff’s Department.
The Marlborough Fire Department has been awarded a $2,000 grant from the Executive Office of Health and Human Services to be utilized to further train and enhance the department’s readiness as a contributing member of the Massachusetts Decontamination Unit (MDU) during times of public emergency. Acceptance of the grant was approved by the City Council at the May 20 meeting.
In a communication to the mayor, Fire Chief James M. Fortin said: “The intent of the grant is to facilitate the field deployment, training and operational readiness of the MDU to enhance protection of local hospitals during any public health emergency situations.”
Among the requirements of the grant laid out by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are maintenance, repair and restocking of equipment and joint exercises with hospital personnel throughout the year
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