Police department names new K-9 after Patriots’ Gronkowski

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. (Elise Amendola/AP)

ATHOL, Mass. — 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.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.