“He did okay,” Hampton Police Officer Brandon Whitehead said. “His first day on duty was July 3. I took him out of the cruiser several times for beach rides and he took care of everything.”
The team has been together for a few months now, attending K9 Academy in Boston together for 14 weeks until they graduate on July 1. But even before that, they spent time bonding at Whitehead. Icky has his own puppy palace on the Whitehead property, built for free by Hampton businessmen Norman Carpentier of Carpentier Construction and Andy Carberry, managing director of Middleton Building Supplies.
“He loves it,” Whitehead said. “The only time we hear from him is when we should hear from him, like when the Amazon delivery guy gets in the drive.”
According to Hampton Police Chief David Hobbs, the department received a $32,000 grant to cover the foundation for the first three years of the K-9 program that brought this black and tan German Shepherd to town. But with the grant, many others have allowed HPD to experience the value of having its new four-legged crime fighter.
“We are very grateful for the grant funding received through the Stanton Foundation, as well as all of our other donors, including; Carpentier Construction, Middleton Building Supply, Woof of Hampton, Pet Smart of Epping, Crimeline for the Hampton’s Inc., Tri-Rent-All of Hampton, Fremont Animal Hospital and other anonymous donors.
Hobbs said the department was excited to introduce Icky to the community.
“This program is going to be a valuable resource to help keep our community safe and prevent crime,” Hobbs said. “We are all so proud of Officer Whitehead and his new partner. They have worked so hard not only to achieve their certifications, but there has been a lot of work that has been done to get this program off the ground and help ensure its future success.
Whitehead said Icky is a certified police patrol dog, with patrol and tracking training. In January, the duo will depart for additional narcotics detection training, Whitehead said.
“Its primary use is as a location tool, whether for people or evidence,” Whitehead said. “He makes our jobs as police more secure.”
Whitehead is pleased with the dog’s temperament, saying it is a well-behaved, mature animal.
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“He’s low-key,” Whitehead said of the animal. “We can have fun in the garden, but when it’s time to work, he’s completely professional. It’s good to know he’s in my back seat.
Whitehead said friendly or not, while Icky is on duty, he’s a police dog. People should not approach or attempt to pet or feed Icky.
Whitehead and Deputy Police Chief Alex Reno consider the dog to have a goodwill ambassador role. Whitehead plans to bring Icky to visit local school children. And Reno said Icky will be at Tuck Field from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, when the Hampton Police Department hosts its “National Night Out” festivities as part of the national event.
Reno said the department received a call from a resident concerned about Icky’s name. Reno wants to assure townspeople that the name is not disrespectful and has nothing to do with the new HPD member.
“A man called and asked why we would call our police dog Icky,” Reno said. “Icky was purchased from Nordic K9, in Concord, New Hampshire. He came up with this name; it’s Scandinavian.