During 2011 and 2012 the Greenville Police Department had several incidents that required assistance from outside agencies who had K-9 units.
In the winter of 2012 / 2013 Chief Pomerleau approached the Board of Selectman to seek approval for the Town of Greenville to acquire a K-9. It was agreed that the dog would not be a patrol dog trained to apprehend suspects. The dog was to be used for tracking and evidence recovery.
The Greenville Police Department reached out to retired Maine Game Warden Roger Guay. Warden Guay had several years’ experience training the dogs used by the IF&W Wardens and now operates Azimuth Kennels.
Through the help of Warden Guay and other private entities the Greenville Police Department received it’s K-9 in September of 2013. “Natalie” arrived when she was 7 weeks old. She is a field / trial Black Labrador Retriever.
Natalie began her training with Roger Guay when she was nine weeks old. The training was “puppy games” teaching her how to use her nose. As she matured the training did as well. Through the winter of 2013 and 2014 Natalie’s training continued. In the spring and early summer of 2014 Natalie’s training reached full speed ahead, getting her ready for certification. In September of 2014 Natalie received her national certification in “felony tracking”. She has recertified every fall since then. Along with recertification Natalie trains on a continuous basis. Natalie also has the ability to locate and recover evidence.
When Natalie is not training or responding to an incident she is just like any other dog. Natalie’s favorite pastimes are playing ball and swimming.
It needs to be mentioned that this program would not be possible without donations and Warden Guay. The Town of Greenville does not fund the K-9 program other than to pay $100 annually for liability insurance. Natalie’s initial equipment including a bullet proof vest was purchased through grants and donations. Her health and maintenance are paid for by her owners / handler along with the cost of her certifications. Several Greenville residents have also donated their time by volunteering to be “victims” that Natalie has to locate.
The biggest donation is that of Roger Guay. All of Natalie’s past, present and future training is done at no charge. Roger Guay has invested 100’s of hours of his own time. Warden Guay believes so strongly in the need for Police K-9s that he donates his time to ensure the program stays intact.
For any questions regarding Natalie please contact the Greenville Police Department.