WILLIAMSTOWN — The newest police officer in town is a bit shy at first, but once she gets to know you, she might just lick your nose.

Shelby, the new K-9 officer for the Williamstown Police Department, is a 1-year-old bloodhound. She already is maintaining a weekly training regimen, going out on calls and playing with all of her new friends at the police station.

Her partner, newly assigned K-9 Officer Anthony Duprat, said Shelby has settled into her new life well. She is living with Duprat, as well as working with him all day.

“I’ve always had a passion for dogs,” Duprat said. “I grew up with a dog. Now, I can have one for a partner. It’s awesome.”

Shelby will be trained for tracking, search and rescue, and much of her time will be spent at community outreach events at local schools and other public places, according to Lt. Mike Ziemba, a former K-9 officer. She will not be trained to attack or pursue, Ziemba said.

He noted that the previous two fur-bearing K-9 officers, Blue and Daisy, also were bloodhounds.

Ziemba said bloodhounds have good temperaments for dealing with the public, and they love to track. Shelby even tracks just for fun when she is not on assignment.

Duprat has been with the department since 2018, working his way up as a part-time dispatcher, full-time dispatcher, part-time officer and, now, full-time officer. He graduated from the Boylston Police Academy in July.

Duprat said he knew that the recently promoted Ziemba was not able to devote as much time to the K-9 work with his new duties, so he expressed an interest in taking over.

Now, Duprat and Shelby train every Tuesday with other K-9 officers in the county. The rest of their on-duty time is spent on assignment or at the station, where Shelby is making herself right at home.

“She can be skittish at first,” Duprat said. “But, once she gets comfortable, she opens up. She gets a little rowdy sometimes, but she’s kind of clumsy, so, it’s pretty cute. Now, she runs around the station like she owns it.”

Shelby was donated to the department by a bloodhound foster home in New Jersey. She will be assigned to rescue lost hikers or track fleeing suspects, for example.

Already, Officer Shelby is making friends.

“So far, everyone we’ve met, they love how goofy she looks and how nice she is,” Duprat said. “She’s a happy dog.”

Scott Stafford can be reached at sstafford@berkshireeagle.com or 413-629-4517.