By Kate Tobiasson, Contributing Writer
Westborough – Sometimes, a chance to change comes along that is too good to pass up. Recently, Westborough Chief of Police Jeffery A. Lourie decided that, despite the hustle needed, the chance to immediately add a K-9 unit to the Westborough Police Department was a unique opportunity; one that he needed to work to support.
The process had a simple start.
“We were awarded a K-9 vehicle from Homeland Security. This vehicle was in Auburn, and then the handler took a job with the Department of Corrections. It is a new vehicle; and is fully outfitted to function as a K-9 unit. I’m regional president of the Central Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council. They were very pleased that this vehicle will be staying in the region,” Lourie explained.
Once the vehicle was transferred to Westborough, the search for a dog and officer began. Purchase, training and housing the dog, as well as continued maintenance of the unit was not something that Westborough Police had budgeted for before April 2019. Instead of letting that stand in his way, Lourie applied for a grant from a private foundation, and may be awarded up to $43,000 to continue to maintain the unit. Generous donations from Koopman Lumber and Tractor Supply helped to secure housing for the dog Lukas, a German Shepherd.
“Caleb Polseno of the Westborough Police Department will be training with the Boston Police Department K-9 Academy as of Sept. 24. He will be training for 14 to 16 weeks and will then be on patrol as a K-9 officer. The dog will be certified in tracking, article searches, and apprehension in and out of searches. The Boston Police Department worked to make a spot for us in this program,” Lourie noted.
The addition of the K-9 unit could not have happened without the collaboration of the local law enforcement community and local businesses, according to the chief.
“We’re looking forward to this enhanced level of service being added to the Westborough Police Department. It has been over 10 years since we’ve had a K-9 unit in the community,” he said. “Last week, we had two incidents where we needed a K-9 unit. The Marlborough and Millbury K-9 unit came into town to help us with a series of break-ins in cars that were happening along Route 9. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in our search. Additionally, there was a house break-in, where if there was a dog we could have used them to track and locate.”
Lourie said that Officer Polseno and Lukas are eager to begin their efforts to help serve and protect Westborough and the surrounding areas.