Full Implementation of Nero’s Law Delayed to 2024

YARMOUTH – A law to ensure medical transport of police dogs won’t be fully implemented until next year. 

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health extended the deadline for emergency medical responders to complete the training for Nero’s Law until February of 2024.  

State officials said that ambulance services asked for more time, citing staffing issues, training funds, and a lack of veterinarians able to assist as reasons for needing the extra time.

Nero’s Law allows for police dogs to be transported and treated by medical responders when they’re injured in the line of duty. 

Fifth Barnstable State Representative Steven Xiarhos was one of the lawmakers who filed Nero’s Law after the death of Yarmouth Police Sergeant Sean Gannon in the line of duty in 2018. During that incident Gannon’s K9 partner Nero was also wounded. 

“First responders are already participating in training sessions and I look forward to having everyone statewide get the training they need as soon as possible,” Xiarhos said.  

Last month Xiarhos gave an update on uses of the law in 2022 and that the legislation had also passed in Rhode Island. 

A DPH spokesperson provided the following comment on the extended deadline: 

“The administration is committed to the implementation of Nero’s Law and its protections for police dogs, while also supporting the dedicated EMT personnel who would be on the front lines of putting this new law into effect.”  

By Brian Engles, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

About Brian Engles

Brian Engles is a longtime local of the Cape. He studied Film & TV at Boston University and in addition to his role at Cape Cod Broadcasting Media, he also works as a music instructor and records original songs.

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