Town of Palm Beach Shores

NEWS RELEASE 02-16: Town welcomes new Police Officer and K-9

June 16, 2016

Town welcomes new Police Officer and K-9


Palm Beach Shores, FL – On June 27, 2016, Officer Jodi Novella and her K-9, Nia, will be joining the ranks of the Palm Beach Shores Police Department.


Officer Novella brings to the Town a vast wealth of experience from her years of service in New Haven, Connecticut.  She joined the New Haven Police Department in 1992 as a police dispatcher and then as a police officer in 2000.  In 2003, she was assigned to the Investigative Services Division where she served as a plain clothes investigator with the narcotics unit.  During her tenure in that division, she was assigned to the Connecticut State Police and sworn in as a Special State Police Officer to the Statewide Narcotics Task Force.


Officer Novella was promoted to Detective in 2009 while assigned to the Narcotics Task Force where she became a Narcotic Detection Canine Handler.  During her work in this unit, she was responsible for the seizure of over 1.5 million dollars in narcotic / controlled substances.


In 2013, Novella retired from the New Haven Police Department and began work at the University of New Haven as a Police K-9 Handler.  Feeling the call for warmer weather, Novella obtained her Florida Police Certificate.


Nia is a 55-pound, nine-year-old Golden Labrador Retriever, who, according to Officer Novella, loves attention – especially belly rubs.   Nia is trained in narcotics detection only and is a “non-bite dog.”


“Nia is really a comfort dog,” Novella said. “She loves people and is prone to giving hugs and kisses.”


Originally trained to be a seeing-eye dog, Nia was disqualified after she came down with a series of ear infections that would have been difficult for a blind person to handle. She was retrained in 2008 by the Connecticut State Police, who also trained Novella about laws governing K-9 police officers.


 “We are very fortunate that Jodi and her K-9, Nia, landed on our shores,” said Duncan Young, Chief of Police for Palm Beach Shores.  “Please welcome her to Town.”

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