It’s fitting that Bandit, who served the people of Chandler, should receive a public celebration of his life. Doing otherwise is a disgrace. Bandit did nothing wrong and he has nothing to be ashamed of. He should be honored and remembered.
Thanks to The Arizona Republic for this article.
Police-dog public service set for Shawnee Park
2 residents organizing service, vigil Sunday at park in Chandler
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 17, 2007
Chandler police aren’t planning a public memorial service for a police dog that died of heat exhaustion inside a patrol car, so two residents are stepping in with their own.
Glenn Hammond of Phoenix and Allison Teska of Chandler are planning a public memorial and vigil at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Shawnee Park in Chandler.
“I read the outcry from Bandit’s death and I thought his life should be celebrated and honored,” Hammond said. “After all, he brought us 4 1/2 years of service.”
Bandit, a 5-year-old K-9 officer with the Chandler Police Department, died Saturday after his handler, Sgt. Tom Lovejoy, left the dog unattended for more than 12 hours in a patrol car parked at his house. Lovejoy was placed on administrative leave while Chandler police and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office conduct separate investigations.
“We don’t want it to be a protest or a political event. We want it to be a vigil, an honorable event for the community in a dignified way,” Hammond said, who felt an emotional connection to the situation because his dog died last year.
Memorial services for police dogs that die in the line of duty are often public events, but Chandler police said a formal service for Bandit will be private and internal, given the circumstances of how the dog died.