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May 19, 2017 8:03 PM

Gronk the K-9 starts his job as the face of New England town's police department

The Associated Press

ATHOL, Mass. (AP) — Gronk will soon be tracking down criminals, sniffing for drugs and acting as the furry face of a Massachusetts police department.

No, not New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

This Gronk is the Athol Police Department's new dog. The year-old German shepherd is undergoing a 14-week training program.

Gronk's namesake was first reported by the Athol Daily News.

Chief Russell Kleber said Gronk will be the department's first K-9 officer in seven or eight years. He says he wanted to name the dog after a Boston sports figure and recalled that the real Gronk has a connection to town.

After attending a nearby charity event in February, the Patriots player stopped by an Athol Subway shop and ordered a footlong chicken, cheese and guacamole sandwich that the restaurant's owner dubbed the Big Subkowski.

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