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Millis/Medway - Local Town Pages

Millis K-9 Nytro makes "immediate and significant impact"

The Millis Police Department’s K-9 Nytro, a three-year-old German Shepherd, has been hard at work since joining the force in February 2022.
Nytro began his official police training with his partner Millis Police Officer Matthew Sullivan in March 2022, and they graduated as a certified patrol team in July 2022. Nytro holds a national certification in patrol work through the North American Police Working Dog Association (NAPWDA), and is a February 2023 graduate of a six-week narcotic detection class. Both trainings (patrol and narcotics) were put on by the Boston Police K-9 Academy. 
Sullivan, who was appointed as a fulltime Millis police officer in 2018, has always wanted to be a police officer, and has always wanted to be a K-9 officer.  
“Being a K-9 handler was always a dream of mine and to have it come to fruition has been awesome, and I have enjoyed every single second of it. Growing up wanting to be a police officer, and having dogs as a kid, I knew from a young age I wanted to be a K-9 officer. The process of being selected by [Millis Police Chief Chris Soffayer] came after I wrote the initial grant from the Stanton Foundation. The initial training was a lot of fun but also very eye-opening to see what amazing animals dogs truly are. The experience has been amazing.”
Chief Soffayer said, “K-9 Nytro made an immediate and significant impact upon joining the Millis Police Department…The comprehensive training program [through the Boston Police Department K-9 Academy] equipped K-9 Nytro with the ability to perform a range of critical tasks, including tracking, area and building searches, evidence searches, handler protection, suspect apprehensions, agility, and obedience. The successful completion of these specialized skills has greatly enhanced the capabilities of our law enforcement operations.”
The idea of starting a K-9 program was brought to the town after Sullivan expressed interest to Chief Soffayer. Sullivan says the need for a K-9 program in Millis continues to grow as more and more elderly people are walking off and getting lost, and people with mental health issues are also walking off. In addition, he says, “Having a narcotics K-9 out on patrol helps deter the presence of narcotics possession and sales throughout the town.”
Nytro also provides mutual aid, covering narcotic and patrol needs, to all towns that are members of METRO-LEC which, according to, “is a consortium of more than 46 local police and sheriff departments in the south metropolitan Boston area which covers 600 square miles and has a corresponding residential population of 850,000 people.”
One of Nytro’s biggest success stories is a narcotics find in March.
Sullivan said, “A detective on our shift observed a hand-to-hand transaction and I proceeded to stop the vehicle involved, eventually conducting a narcotics sweep of the vehicle that Nytro alerted on. Inside the vehicle was a combination of crack cocaine and fentanyl, a large sum of cash, and other evidence of narcotics sales.”
Chief Soffayer says another success is when Millis Police officers and Nytro conducted a traffic stop after a detective suspected the man had been involved in a drug deal at a local apartment complex. While searching the man’s car, police officers and Nytro uncovered what they believed to be crack cocaine and potential Fentanyl. Over $3,000 dollars in cash and other drug-related items were also located. The driver was subsequently arrested and charged with Possession of a Class A Drug with Intent to Distribute and Possession of a Class B Drug with Intent to Distribute.
Sullivan calls the K-9 program “a massive success,” noting “It took a while for department and community members to get used to a working K-9 being in town, however, it has all come together nicely. Nytro has been an amazing first dog for the town and department, and I am very lucky to have him as my partner.”
The Millis K-9 program is supported through a combination of grants and funding from the Stanton Foundation, Massachusetts Vest-A-Dog, numerous individuals, and donations raised through community events, fundraisers, and the Millis Police Working Dog Fund (where 100% of the money donated will be used to help maintain the K9 program).
Sullivan says that, off duty, “Nytro is a normal dog, but he is ready to work at any time.” He explains that “Police K-9s are typically kept separate from family life to keep their working drive up. The way it was described to us in training is that if they are used to laying on the couch or the bed when it is really hot or really cold out, they will still go to work but their drive will not fully be there because they will want to get back to that comfortability that they had inside the house. Once Nytro retires, he will transition to living a normal dog life inside the home.”
Nytro, whose name was chosen by the officers on Sullivan’s shift, will turn four in August. Sullivan says a K-9’s working years depend on the individual dog. “I would like to work with him until he is about 9 years old, as long as he is still moving well and his joints are good. I have seen teams work until the dog is 12 before, so it really just depends on how the dog is as they get older. If he starts to slow down a lot and shows signs of any injury or joint issues, that is when I would retire him.”
To learn more about Nytro, follow him on Facebook and Instagram @mpd_k9nytro.