Woonsocket Police Department introduces K-9 unit

WPD K-9 unit returns after 25-year hiatus

WOONSOCKET, RI: Chief Thomas Oates announced today, at an afternoon press
conference, the launch of the Woonsocket Police Department’s new K-9 unit. Chief
Oates, Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt and K-9 officer Jason Berthelette participated in
the introduction of the department’s police dog, Aspen.

«I made a commitment to this community when I was appointed to this position and I
am determined to do anything in my power to make this department the best it can
be,» stated Woonsocket Police Chief, Thomas Oates.

The additional of a K-9 unit will assist the department with a range of law
enforcement activities including, narcotic searches, crime scene investigation, and
suspect apprehension. Already, the K-9 unit has successfully contributed to the
apprehension of a suspect wanted for arrest and the discovery of a weapon discarded
while in pursuit of another suspect wanted for arrest.

«Chief Oates has wasted no time in implementing new initiatives that serve to build
upon the already great law enforcement efforts our department consistently
performs,» added Mayor Baldelli-Hunt. «This would not be possible without the
contributions of Officer Berthelette, who has gone above and beyond to develop the
skills necessary to perform and to personally care for Aspen»

WPD’s K-9 unit will be led by Patrolman Jason Berthelette, an 11-year veteran of the
department. Officer Berthelette has been certified as a K-9 handler and has
undergone extensive training over the past 10 years.

«The brave men and women of the Woonsocket Police Department deserve the best
possible tools to assist their efforts as they work to keep our community safe,»
said Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt. «The City’s new K-9 unit improves the ability of our
public safety professionals to effectively do their job while keeping them and our
residents out of harm’s way.»

Funding for WPD’s new unit was supplemented through generous contributions from
members of the community including, Woonsocket Rotary Club, Inferno Audio, Sunrise
Pizza and Vested Interests in Canines Inc. Aspen, WPD’s latest addition to its
force, is a three year old female German Shepherd.