Somerville Police Department
220 Washington St
Somerville, MA 02143
(In Union Square)
East Substation: 81 Broadway
West Substation: 1114 Broadway

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In October of 2008, the Somerville Police Department reactivated the K-9 Unit.  It has been almost 30 years since the SPD had its own working police dog. 

The members of the K-9 Unit are Officer John Tam and K-9 Max.  Max is a male German Shepherd born in the Slovak Republic.  K-9 Max joined the Somerville Police in October of 2008. 

Officer Tam and K-9 Max trained together at the Plymouth County Sheriff's Department K-9 Academy.  They went on to complete additional training from the Middlesex Sheriff's Office.  Formal in-service training is required a minimum of three times per month.  

K-9 Max is trained as a dual-purpose dog specializing in Patrol Operations and Narcotics Detection. K-9 Max is trained for Patrol Operations, which includes obedience, agility, criminal apprehension, crowd control, evidence search and recovery, building and area searches, and tracking for human scent (fleeing suspect/missing persons).  K-9 Max is also trained to signal to his handler when he detects the odor of narcotics.

Officer Tam and K-9 Max patrol the streets of Somerville in a specially outfitted police vehicle.  The K-9 unit supplements the patrol force with its unique capabilities. This unit has also provided assistance to other communities in need of the capabilities of a working police dog.

The Somerville Police K-9 Unit routinely assists in the detection and seizure of narcotics as well as the apprehension of criminal suspects.

Officer John Tam and K-9 Max would like to thank Porter Square Veterinarian, 360 Summer Street, Somerville, MA ( for being the official veterinary care of K-9 Max.







Bulletproof vest for K-9 Max was provided by funds raised at the Somerville Dog Festival/2010 and Dr. Adam Parker - Porter Square Veterinarian through Massachusetts Vest-A-Dog (

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