An eight-month-old German Shepard named after a local police sergeant who passed away in 2016 has joined the Hillsborough Township Police Department as its second K-9 unit.
Mayor Gloria McCauley and the rest of the township committee welcomed Freddy, named after the late Sgt. Fred Wacker.
“We are excited to welcome Freddy to Hillsborough and honor the memory of Sergeant Wacker,” McCauley said.
Wacker passed away in his home in November 2016.
Freddy and his handler, Officer Richard Tichenor, will begin attending the Morris County K-9 Academy for the next several months.
Once their training is complete, Freddy will join Marco, a 7-year-old Belgian Malinois who currently serves on the police force with his handler Officer Chris Englehardt.
As the department’s second active K-9 unit, Lt. Mike McMahon said Freddy will bolster local police investigations for up to the next nine years.
“A second K-9 allows us to provide coverage across all of our patrol squads on a daily basis,” McMahon said. “The K-9 assists in narcotics investigations, tracking missing and/or endangered persons and suspects of a crime. It is also a valuable tool for community policing.”
Along with assisting local officers, McMahon said the department’s dogs have also been used to assist investigations in nearby municipalities.
Freddy is the second dog donated to the police department by Dr. Caesar DePaço, founder and CEO of Summit Nutritionals International, and his family.
The DePaço family originally provided Marco to take over for Raider, a German Shepherd who retired in 2013 after five years on the force.
Last month, DePaço and his wife, Deanna Padovani-DePaço were honored by law enforcement and the township committee for their support of the Hillsborough Police Department’s K-9 unit over the years.
“We are long-time fervent supporters of law enforcement. They are our true last line of defense in this ever-increasingly dangerous world,” Caesar said during the Aug. 14 meeting. “True to their enduring motto, they serve and protect.”
Starting in 2013, the businessman and his family have worked to provide nearly 70 police dogs to various law enforcement agencies throughout the country. The Hillsborough Township Police Department was the first agency to receive their assistance.
Since their initial contribution, the family has paid for all services and equipment needed for the police department’s four-legged officers, including a sports utility vehicle outfitted for the canine unit.
With their latest addition to the police department, the DePaço family have provided a new K-9 patrol vehicle and covered expenses for the police department to go to Virginia to pick up Freddy.
“Dr. DePaco’s support and generosity is greatly appreciated. It has helped establish, and maintain the K-9 program in Hillsborough Township,” McMahon said.