GROTON — Officers at the Groton Police Department just got a new colleague, and he’s a cutie.
Police welcomed “McDonald”, a 2-year-old black Labrador retriever, last Thursday. “McDonald” came from the “Puppies Behind Bars” organization. The non-profit pairs inmates and puppies together to raise them as service dogs for wounded war veterans and first responders. You can learn more about the organization here.
Police say “McDonald” was named after the late NYPD Detective Steven D. McDonald who died in January of 2017 after complications from a gunshot wound he received in 1986. Inmates at the Bedford Hills Women’s prison chose the name after meeting Det. McDonald during one of his visits to the prison where he shared his story of forgiveness and rehabilitation.
He will be partnered with Officer Heather McClelland, the department’s Officer Wellness Program Coordinator. Team “Mac & Mac” will have the responsibility of providing help to officers and staff of the Groton Police Department in a therapeutic manner.
Other duties are: carrying out community outreach functions such as educational programming, specialized events, and community interaction. “Mac & Mac” will be helping victims of violent crime among others, and creating a more engaging relationship between the Groton community and the police department.
Chief L. J. Fusaro stated, “We are excited to have McDonald as part of our team and honored to be associated with Det. McDonald and his family. Officer wellness is an extremely important topic today and bringing McDonald on board to work with our department and fellow first responders and military personnel will help open doors for those who need help while also creating positive connections between our department and the community. I am confident, after having met Patti Ann and Connor, that our McDonald will continue the legacy of his namesake – NYPD Detective Steven McDonald.”