In an appropriate tribute to New Bedford's native son Sgt. Sean Gannon and his Yarmouth Police K-9 partner Nero, a Massachusetts House bill being discussed would create a new state law allowing police dogs injured in the line of duty to be treated and transported by EMS, providing there's not a competing need for human transport.

Currently, state law doesn't allow for this.

Old friend Will Crocker, who represents the 2nd Barnstable District, including part of Yarmouth, proposed the idea back in January and spoke about it before the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security at the State House today. It makes sense and it is only proper that these police K-9s be extended the same treatment, when humanly possible, to emulate their rank and importance as police enforcers and working partners. Also, it pays respect to the families they live with. Nero is presently living with Sean's wife.

The legislation is named in honor of our local young hero, Sean Gannon, who grew up in New Bedford and called this city his home–another reason to embrace Nero's Bill. If you recall, Sean was fatally shot and Nero was also wounded while they were serving a warrant at a home in Barnstable. The hearing room was packed to capacity with Sean's family, uniformed police and police K-9s, showing an endorsement of Nero's Bill.

Sean's father Patrick Gannon said they were there to be Sean's voice for his beloved Nero. Sean's mother Denise showed images of an injured and healthy Nero, who was rushed to an animal hospital in the back of a cruiser after he was shot. She let the pols know that her son would have been devastated to see his partner in the back seat of a cruiser, instead of in an ambulance receiving life-saving treatment.

While this is still in committee, now's the time for you to call your legislators and ask them to approve it as it goes before the House and Senate. I believe we must champion our two champions with Nero's Bill.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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