Fall River police welcome new K-9 officer

The Fall River Police Department announced Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, that they welcomed a new K-9 officer to their staff. Pictured from left are K-9 Joseph, K-9 Officer Kevin Lopes, Sean Cabral, Aaron Lewis, and Rev. Dr. Robert P. Lawrence. (Police photo)

The Fall River Police Department announced Thursday that they welcomed a new K-9 officer to their staff.

“K-9 Joseph was selected from a group of 80 dogs at the Shallow Creek Kennels in Pennsylvania after being made available for testing,” police noted in a press release.

K-9 Joseph is an 80-pound German Shepherd who was born in Hungary in April 2015. The department acquired him during the summer thanks to the generosity of Reverend Dr. Robert P. Lawrence, who donated $10,000 for the purchase of the dog.

“On June 27, 2016, Officer Kevin Lopes began the K-9 Training Academy with K-9 Joseph, which was hosted by the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department and the Massachusetts Department of Corrections,” police said.

Police said the training included but was not limited to article and evidence searches, tracking a missing person or suspect, apprehension, as well as K-9 SWAT tactics.

“K-9 Joseph has also received a K-9 Storm custom-fit SWAT ballistic vest, made possible through a $1,000 generous donation by Aaron Lewis of Fairhaven and Sean Cabral of Fall River, in memory of UBU, a beloved golden retriever,” police said. “There was also a $1,400 gift by an anonymous donor.”

K-9 Joseph will be replacing the department’s previous dog, who retired from old age.

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