WAKEFIELD – Wakefield Police are thrilled to introduce Luna and Samy, two new K9 members of the department. Thanks to generous donations from the community, both have been assigned to their handlers and are currently in training.
K9 Luna is an American Field Labrador that was donated to the department by Foxbend Labradors in Hillsborough, New Hampshire. After an extensive interview process, Wakefield Police Officer Ryan Doran was selected as her handler. Inspired by a situation in 2008 where former Wakefield K9 Leo rescued a missing child in the woods on a cold December night, Luna will specialize in tracking missing and endangered persons, including children and individuals with dementia or other health concerns; she will not train in criminal apprehension or bite work.
At the completion of her instruction, Luna will have expertise in search and rescue, article and evidence search, and narcotics search. She has a docile personality and enjoys interacting with children and adults in the community. Luna and Officer Doran will be members of the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council’s (NEMLEC) Regional Response K9 team.
Sal Barbagallo and Subaru of Wakefield donated K9 Samy, an English Labrador. Samy will serve the community in a unique capacity: as a comfort dog. Her specialized training will allow her to help reduce anxiety in adults and children involved in domestic violence situations, mental health crises, and other traumatic events. Officer Kelley Tobyne, a School Resource Officer, was selected to be Samy’s handler. Tobyne’s established connection to Wakefield students provides the opportunity for them to have access to the dog when the need arises. Samy is named in honor of Wakefield’s Becca Sampson, a friend of the department, who passed away from leukemia in 2018 at age 13.
Officer Tobyne and Samy will be members of the NEMLEC Critical Incident Stress Management Team. This team assists first responders from NEMLEC communities by providing them with crisis intervention after traumatic calls for service and other critical incidents.
“The department hasn’t had a K9 since 2019, and over the years I’ve put a lot of thought into the type of dogs that would most benefit the community,” notes Chief Steven Skory. “In addition to their specific expertise, the K9s will also allow us to interact with the public in new ways. It’s great to see the smiles they have already brought to residents and businesses in the short time they have been with us. We’re excited to bring enhanced services to the community and are incredibly grateful to the organizations who have helped bring Luna and Samy on board.”
In addition to generous donations of the dogs themselves, other community groups have offered continued support for the new K9s. Gone to The Dogs of Albion Street donates food for Luna, Subaru of Wakefield donates food for Samy, and the Wakefield Rotary provides health insurance for both dogs. You can follow Luna on Instagram at @wakefieldpd_k9luna and Samy at @samywakefieldpd.