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January 2022 NEWFOUNDLAKELIFE.COM Page 11 Community
 MEET THE POLICE: Officer Nick Kelley and Arro
By Donna rhoDes
BRISTOL – Officer Nick Kelley is the K9 officer for Bris- tol Police Department, and as such, he is one of the most visi- ble members of the department when he has his partner Arro by his side.
Kelley grew up in Derry, N.H., and attended high school at Pinkerton Academy while also playing football for a number of teams throughout the years. Upon graduation, he went on to study criminal justice/psychol- ogy at NHTI in Concord.
He set out to become involved in law enforcement with the ul- timate goal of one day joining the FBI. Instead, in May of 2013, at the age of 20, he took a position with the Bristol Police Department though where he has found a most satisfying ca- reer in his home state. “When I was finishing up my degree at NHTI, one of my professors said that Bristol was hiring. I didn’t even know where Bristol was but thought it would be a good experience to go through the process before I started my bachelor’s at SNHU,” he said. “I ended up getting the job and loved it up here. It’s a lot less chaotic than the southern part of the state that I grew up in.” He loved it so much that he’s still serving the Bristol community
more than nine years later. Kelley said he initially had hoped to become a motorcycle officer, but it turned out that that program was cut from the Bristol PD’s budget years ago. In 2016 however, Bristol decided to start a K9 program, and Kelley was offered the chance to be the officer who would train and work with their dog. “I chose K9 because it’s a specialty that few cops get to do in their ca- reer. But, I had the opportunity so that I couldn’t pass it up,” he
His partner for the past five
years has been Arro, a Belgian Malinois who is originally from Slovakia. When the department chose him as their K9 patrol dog, Kelley and he then spent a month together doing intensive training at Castle’s K9, Inc. in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
However, as smart as Arro turned out to be on search missions and other duties, the training didn’t end there. He and Kelley continue to attend programs at the Working Dog Foundation for New Hamp- shire, which assists in keeping police K9s up to date on their skills. Now six-and-a-half years old, he and Arro have formed a close bond, and Kelley is grateful to have him by his side each day.“The nice thing about having Arro is I’m never alone.
Officer Nick Kelley and his K9 partner Arro, dressed this year in a Big Bad Wolf costume, were happy to once again greet all the trick-or-treaters in downtown Bristol on Halloween.
Photo by Donna Rhodes
Midnights (on duty) in the win- ter get lonely when you have no one to talk to,” Kelley said.
Another benefit is that through Arro’s services, Kelley has been able to network with other officers and become fa- miliar with several other towns in central New Hampshire.
Being the K9 officer does have challenges, however. Of-
ficer Kelley still responds to daily service calls for accidents, arrests, and any other type of incident that may crop up in the town. But, his workday can change in an instant when a call comes in for K9 search assis- tance.
Besides the local community, the duo has been called upon for searches in towns as far north as Campton/Thornton, east to Meredith, and south to North- field. “We’ve located criminals for things such as domestic vio- lence to burglaries. We’ve found drugs, and we’ve located people who’ve not only tried to harm themselves, but the vulnerable, too; those who are elderly or have special needs,” said Kelley.
He and Arro are also popu- lar at town events like Hallow- een, where Arro can always be seen greeting trick-or-treaters in a costume of his own, and at Bristol’s Old Home when he gets to demonstrate some of his skills before a captive audience. The pair have also visited local schools, the town library for Read with Arro time, and other community events.
When not on duty, Arro en- joys life at home in New Hamp- ton with Kelley, his wife, their daughter, a few other family pets.“Arro is just another one of my dogs at home. They all get along,” he said. “I have two pet dogs and a cat. My first dog
(a black lab) used to get jealous with Arro always coming to work with me, but when we got a boxer that stayed home with her it was fine.”
Among Arro’s favorite past times are playing with the other family dogs, chewing on his kong dog toy and running laps around their home.“I now have a dirt track around my house,” Kelley joked.
The officer himself has a few outside interests, too. Besides spending quality time with his young family and their pets, he enjoys going to the gym and re- cently took up hunting where he can spend time enjoying the woods and wildlife of New Hampshire. Most of all Kelley said he is most appreciative for the care of Arro, which has been generously donated by Bristol Animal Hospital. Additional support for the Bristol Police Department’s K9 program has come through local raffles and donations. The program is also grateful for the support they re- ceive through the Working Dog Foundation, which is a nonprofit group. Contributions to their mission of continuous training for police K9s are greatly ap- preciated, Kelley said. More in- formation on the group can be found on their Facebook page or through their Website, www.
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