By Elio Gugliotti, Editor
NAUGATUCK — There’s been a changing of the four-legged guard at the Naugatuck Police Department.
Patrol K9 Vane retired Jan. 22 after 10 years with the department, Deputy Chief C. Colin McAllister said.
The department deployed Vane over 100 times to track people during his career, police said, including tracks of suspects, suicidal people, and disabled and elderly people who were missing. In some instances, police said, Vane was injured and assaulted while tracking people.
“Vane was our eyes and our ears, our nose on the ground,” a post on the department’s Facebook page stated. “He has protected, served and would defend our community and our officers with his life, for this we are forever in his debt.”
McAllister estimated the average career for patrol K9s is eight years.
“They lead a very demanding life,” he said.
Vane will live out his retirement with his handler, officer Ian Kosky, McAllister said.
The department didn’t miss a beat when Vane retired. The department’s new patrol K9 Tommy completed training in January and is in service. Kosky is his handler, McAllister said.
McAllister said the department planned for a seamless transition last summer with the help of Drew Marine, a technical maritime services company that has corporate offices in Naugatuck. The company donated money for a new patrol K9, which costs about $8,000, he said.
“We’re very thankful for their support of the community, especially our K9 program,” McAllister said.