Fairhaven has its first police K9 team.

Officer Jill Jodoin and her partner, Blue, recently graduated from the narcotics detection academy. Blue is a medium-sized, ninr-month-old black lab.

“Ten weeks ago I met my partner Blue,” said Officer Jodoin, a member of the Army National Guard. “And now I can’t imagine my life without him.”

Having a K9 program is a step towards getting harmful drugs out of the SouthCoast community. The 10-week K9 training program included 400 hours of learning how to detect trace amounts of fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, Oxycontin, suboxone, and other drugs.

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Officer Jodoin raised donations to help establish the Fairhaven K9 program with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office. Many local businesses and people donated to start the program.

“Everyone came together as a community for this program,” said Officer Jodoin. “We’re so fortunate for the overwhelming support.”

Gary’s Best Hot Dogs, Michael Panagakos, the Van Sloun Foundation, Liberty Utilities, Perry Jewelers, All Trust Credit Union, Christopher Medeiros of Tony’s Auto and SouthCoast Towing, Sandy McConnell SouthCoast Dog Training & Care, and Eric Brasil Pet Supplies Plus were just some of the generous donors to the program.

BCSO’s Filipe DaSilva, a Marine Corps. veteran and his dog Robika also graduated during the ceremony at the correctional complex on Faunce Corner Road. Robika is an 85-pound, three-year-old Belgian Malinois.

“I was surprised he picked it up so quick,” said Officer DaSilva. “It’s been a great experience and we’re ready to hit the ground running.”

Blue and Robika’s training program was led by Bristol Country Sgt. William Dillingham.

“We’re just proud we could play a role in this historic day for the Fairhaven Police Department,” said Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson. “These two K9 teams will have a massive effect on the public safety of Bristol County.”

Additional Reporting by Sierra Fiore

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