Westport police announced the newest four-legged member of the department Wednesday.
Police said K9 Atlas is joining the Westport Police Department K9 Unit. Atlas is a 19-month-old German shepherd from Grasso Shepherds who will partner up with Officer David Scinto. The team will begin training this month. By October Atlas should be a certified patrol/narcotics detection canine.
The addition comes in response to an increase in drug abuse and heroin overdoses in the area, police said. Scinto and Atlas will join Officer Jim Loomer with PSD Koda and Officer Baker with PSD Chase in the K9 Unit, and help the department enforce current drug laws.
Westport officers will also be issued Narcan, used as an emergency treatment for suspected opioid overdoses. Narcan use has been increasing across the state as a way to combat the heroin epidemic.
The Westport K9 Unit is funded through community donations and the support of Dr. Joan Poster of the Poster Animal Hospital and Bill Mitchell of Mitchell’s of Westport.