Town of Freetown transfers full ownership of retired K-9 Koda to Sgt. Thomas Long

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“There has been a lot of information and misinformation released surrounding the retirement of the police dog Koda.

I want you to know we reviewed all the information surrounding the K-9 program and did not take the decision to retire the dog lightly.

The main reason we began discussing ending the K-9 programming was due to Sgt. Long’s pending promotion from patrolman to Sergeant. A sergeant’s primary role is to supervise and support patrolmen on their shift. If a sergeant was also the K-9 officer, they may not be available to supervise or assist their patrolmen in the event that a call came in during their shift requesting assistance of the K-9. Additionally another officer may need to be called in on an overtime basis to backfill the sergeant.

Koda the police dog, being 7 years old was too old to re-assign to a new handler and it was decided that he be retired and that Sgt. Long would be offered the dog.

Per the CBA, Sgt. Long has been offered Koda at no additional cost to him. The Town is asking Sgt. Long to sign an agreement that transfers ownership of the dog to him. That agreement merely calls for him to acknowledge that he understands and is aware of the current physical condition of the dog, that he is aware that the dog is a trained police dog and that he accepts any risks that may come along with owning such a dog. The agreement goes on to state that Sgt. Long will assume all of the costs and responsibilities of owning the dog and that he will hold the Town harmless for any claims that may arise from the dog in the future. These provisions have been included to protect the Town and its taxpayers from legal liability in the event that any incidents occur after the dog becomes Sgt. Long’s personal property.

At no time was euthanasia discussed in regards K-9 Koda.

On the agenda tonight is to approve the agreement between the Town and Sgt. Long.”-Town of Freetown.

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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