LONDONDERRY — The police department is hoping the community can help name its K-9 officer.
Police received a gift of a dog mannequin to help with training in case K-9 Mingo ever needed first aid or other help during his work in town.
The training dog was donated by Crossroads Animal Hospital.
But the dog didn’t come with a name and police are reaching out to the community for suggestions.
Mingo’s partner and handler Officer John Perry said having the mannequin as part of the department is important.
Mingo, a 5-year-old German shepherd, joined the force after Londonderry’s former service dog Zip retired. Zip died in 2010 and Mingo officially took over the duties, working side by side with Perry to take on tasks like sniffing out drugs and explosives, or searching for crime suspects. If Mingo ever needed help, the stuffed counterpart can be vital for training purposes, Perry said.
“What is I was shot, what if Mingo was shot, what do you do?” Perry said.
Perry said he approached Crossroads Animal Hospital to see if they had any resuscitation equipment for dogs after he was asked to do some training with a Southern New Hampshire operations unit. Part of the training was how to deal with not only an injured officer, but also an injured K-9.
That led to the donation of the stuffed black Labrador mannequin. The training dog has its own harness, K-9 patch and St. Christopher’s medal.
Perry said the local animal hospital has helped serve the department’s canines in the past.
“They have always been very supportive of our K-9 unit,” he said.
As part of the training, Perry said, officers will learn basic first aid for a canine, including making a stretcher, muzzle and other basic tasks to care for a potentially injured animal.
The name contest runs through April 4. Anyone with a name suggestion for the department’s new mannequin is encouraged to enter.
Perry said Mingo might even have a part in choosing the winner. The top name will get some sort of recognition, he said, maybe even a ride in the cruiser with Mingo.
Entries can be made through the Londonderry Police Facebook page or by emailing Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org.