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Newburyport Company Creates Military-Style Technology For K-9 Teams

By Kate Merrill, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Kate Merrill Kate Merrill
Kate Merrill is an Emmy award winning journalist for WBZ-TV News. She...
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CONCORD (CBS) – Concord K-9 officer Sylvia Toumayan and her new partner Mikayel are suiting up and getting ready to see the future.

They are testing out a new, real time camera that’s strapped to Mikayel’s back.

This one piece of technology can give police the time and distance they need to assess a situation.

“I think it’s an advantage to us in the field,” Toumayan told WBZ-TV.

“It’s more slow and methodical, kind of how we work. In any situation, we don’t rush in and we need to see what we are up against,” she said.

The camera was created by Blueforce Development in Newburyport, which is creating technology for K-9 teams, like an implantable body temperature sensor.

Ken Ballinger, a retired officer, works with Blueforce.

“What we’re getting is a real time view of the location of animal, but we are getting his real time body core temperature,” he told WBZ.

Information on the dog is crucial to keeping officers safe.

“If the dog has stopped, the commander can hit one button and listen to what is going around the handler to see if there is a conflict or whether he’s fallen or injured,” said Michael Helfrich of Blueforce.

It’s basically modern-day military technology taken right off the battlefield.

Now it’s here at home and about to hit the streets aiming to keep these teams safe.

“It’s an added tool, basically a safety feature, not just for us, but for the civilians we are out there protecting,” Toumayan said.

The town of Concord is part of a pilot program testing this new technology.  Other communities are raising money to get the equipment as well.

MORE LOCAL NEWS FROM CBS BOSTON

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