SOUTHWICK, Mass. (WWLP) – There is a new police dog officially on patrol in the Town of Southwick.
An early holiday gift for the Southwick Police Department –one that came in the form of four legs and wet nose.
Back in May, Southwick’s police dog Jax retired after 10 years on the force. Southwick Police Chief Dave Ricardi knew he wanted another dog on the force, but the department was unable to afford one.
That’s where Southwick resident Jack Jeneral comes in. He donated $8,000 so the department could purchase their new dog
‘I saw it, I got the immediate impulse to want to do something and it was kind of nice to do it,” Jack Jeneral said. “I loved the expression on Dave’s face when I told him what I was going to do. I said I’m about to make your day and he said you made my year.”
That’s how General got his name.
The 1.5 year old German Shepherd/Beligian Malinois will work side by side with newly assigned handler officer Mike Westcott.
“We tested 15 dogs and he was the fastest, and he came out, wanted to work wanted to play and that’s what I liked about him,” Westcott said. “It ended up being between him and a small mali, so I asked for him.”
General completed patrol training a few weeks ago. He now becomes an integral part of the police department.
“They’ll be doing regular patrol work, they’ll be out there doing any type of searching of buildings,” Ricardi said. “The dogs are great at searching a building. They can search a building in a 3rd of the time it would take 2 or 3 officers to do.”
Jeneral and Westcott still have one more round of training to complete, that will be for narcotics detection.