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April 17, 2013

Gloucester K9 unit on Boston duty

After two bombs rocked Monday’s Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 170, Gloucester joined cities and towns statewide in stepping up its guard, while also contributing to investigations in the shaken city by shipping a K-9 officer and his police dog to Boston.

Police Chief Leonard Campanello emphasized Tuesday that Gloucester received no threats or alerts, but police bumped up patrols and checked frequently on the city’s two Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) commuter rail stations, on Railroad Avenue and in West Gloucester.

“We added two patrols last night only to be attentive,” Campanello said Tuesday. “We had no credible threats — no threats at all — or alerts.”

Because the Gloucester Police Department participates as a member of the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, a regional cooperative of police departments abbreviated to NEMLEC, K-9 Officer Chris Genovese deployed to Boston late Monday night with his K-9 dog, Mako. The pair will work in the city for the next few days, according to Campanello.

“It’s good that we’re assisting,” Campanello said.

The MBTA, meanwhile, had requested Gloucester police officers check on the train stations as MBTA employees performed a sweep of railroad tracks along each of the commuter rail lines, including into and through the tracks of Cape Ann.

Police responding to calls from residents had found “several” MBTA workers surveying the tracks with bobbing flashlights late Monday night.

Police also boarded a police boat Monday night to perform a sweeping check of Gloucester’s harbor and waterfront.

Though Coast Guard Station Gloucester had all four of their boats at the ready to respond to any cues Monday and Tuesday, BM2 Thomas Moen said, the guard received no alerts.

“We did work with the local police department; hey had dropped their harbor boat, and we had our second boat dropped in in case we needed to respond to anything,” Moen said. The Coast Guard’s cutter Grand Isle, usually based in Gloucester, was also deployed to Boston.

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