Memorial dedicated to Westport police K-9s
Every dog has its day, and Monday was a day of tribute for Westport's police dogs.
The Police Department dedicated a memorial at headquarters to the K-9 officers who have served in local police ranks for the last several decades.
The department's current K-9, Koda, was joined by his current handler, Officer James Loomer, and several of the department's former dog handlers at the ceremony, which preceded the town's annual Memorial Day parade Monday morning.
Westport police, who first utilized police service dogs for a short while in the mid-1980s, have had at least one dog on the force continuously since the program was reinstated in 1991, officials said in a release. The animals' duties include tracking suspects and lost persons, building and area searches, evidence recovery, suspect apprehension and narcotics detection.
The dogs and their handlers develop a "special bond," police said, spending 24 hours a day together, both on duty and off.
The Police Department's memorial honors the dogs that served and those who continue to serve on the police force, officials said. The memorial was funded by donations from Poster Animal Hospital, Westport Police Union Local 2080 and the Westport Police Benevolent Association.