A Cape Cod Times article written by Geoff Spillane on January 28, 2019 describes legislation filed by Representative Will Crocker that would allow for police canine who have been injured in the line of duty to be treated and transported by EMS.
‘Nero’s Bill’ would allow care for injured K-9s
BOSTON — Last year’s fatal shooting of Yarmouth police Sgt. Sean Gannon continues to spur legislative action on Beacon Hill.
State Rep. William Crocker, R-Centerville, filed legislation last week that would allow emergency medical responders to treat and transport police dogs injured in the line of duty.
The proposed law was inspired by Gannon’s K-9 partner, Nero, who also was shot as a team of officers tried to serve an arrest warrant at a Marstons Mills house in April. State law currently prohibits working animals from being treated or transported by emergency personnel, so Nero had to wait for a retired K-9 officer to arrive to assist and drive him to an emergency veterinary hospital.
“Canine police officers are an integral part of the law enforcement community and are considered members of the department,” Crocker said. “It only seems appropriate that, when it comes to being treated for any injuries incurred while on the job, they should be treated like any other member of the force.”
Dubbed “Nero’s Bill,” the proposed legislation also stipulates that any emergency personnel providing care to the dogs would be required to receive training consistent with standards approved by the Office of Emergency Medical Services.
Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson said he hoped the need for the services would be rare, but the bill would “take away any hesitation for first responders to administer emergency care to operational K-9s and transport them to a veterinary hospital without fear of the sanctions that currently exist.”
To date, 13 legislators have co-sponsored the bill, including Sen. Julian Cyr, D-Truro; Rep. Dylan Fernandes, D-Woods Hole; Rep. Randy Hunt, R-Sandwich; Rep. Sarah Peake, D-Provincetown; and Rep. Timothy Whelan, R-Brewster.