On Saturday afternoon the Edgartown Police Department held an open house, giving taxpayers a chance to see all the new bells and whistles.

Mark Lovewell

Officers gave tours of the new Emergency Management Center and showed off the new emergency response boat.

Patrolman Jamie Craig, a member of the SWAT team dispatched to Watertown last week, talked about SWAT training procedures.

Officer Ryan Ruley explained the surveillance capabilities of mobile command, a large white truck with a raised video camera. The mobile command belongs to all the towns on the Vineyard and is used for major events, fires and public celebrations such as fireworks and parades.

Officer Jeff Trudel and Buster, a black Labrador and "passive-alert dog," demonstrated how police find illegal drugs. In the demonstration, Officer Trudel led Buster around a car. When Buster caught a whiff, he slobbered on the hiding place, in this case the underside of a station wagon, and then sat down.

Officer Trudel said the nice thing about dogs trained in the "passive alert" method is that they don’t cause damage when searching for contraband, compared with other methods that train dogs to bite and scratch.

"It minimizes the liability on our part," he said. "The only damage is a little bit of slobber on the vehicle."