WESTPORT, Conn. — The Westport Police Department on Monday dedicated a memorial to its K-9 Unit out of respect for the dogs who have and continue to serve Westport and surrounding communities, Westport Police Chief Dale Call said in a statement.
Westport has used Police Service Dogs sporadically since the mid-1980s and continuously since 1991, said Call, a former bloodhound handler. These dogs are used to track suspects and lost persons, conduct building and area searches, evidence recovery, suspect apprehension, handler protection and narcotics detection, he said.
The dogs are taken care of by their handlers, both in the field and during off-duty hours, Call said.
“Most handlers, if asked, would state that their time as a dog handler was the most rewarding assignment that they have held,” Call said in the statement.
The K-9 memorial was funded through donations by Poster Animal Hospital, Westport Police Union Local 2080 and the Westport Police Benevolent Association.
Officer James Loomer and his partner Koda, a Belgian Malinois who joined the force last yea r, currently make up the department’s K-9 Unit. Police Service Dog Ellie, a bloodhound handled by Sgt. Ryan Paulsson , is semi-retired.
For more information about the K-9 Unit, visit the Westport Police Department website .
Photo: From left are Westport Police Chief Dale Call, Officer James Loomer with Police Service Dog Koda, Sgt. Ryan Paulsson, Deputy Chief Foti Koskinas, Officer Marc Heinmiller and Officer Richard Failla.
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