SOUTHINGTON — A local police officer is raising funds for a new memorial that will honor police dogs and officers.
Officer Mel Emond, who has been partnered with K9 Kira for two years, began working on the memorial project last year. Emond said the department has had three police dogs die since the unit was revived in 2001. The names of those dogs, and all future police dogs, will be added to the monument planned for in front of the police station on Lazy Lane.
There will also be a statue of a police officer to honor all past, present and future officers, and an eternal flame in the middle. There is currently a memorial for Timothy Foley, an officer that was killed in the line of duty in 1938, and the new features will be added around that stone.
The total cost for the memorial is about $40,000. Emond said he needs about $18,000 to reach that goal.
The work is being done by an internationally-known artist. A bronze statue of a German Shepard will sit on a rectangular base with the names of the department’s police dogs inscribed on plates.
“For the past 18 years the K9 program has been very successful in supporting the Southington community from both a proactive and reactive standpoint,” Emond said.
There are two other officers and police dogs in the unit, Officer John Mahon and K9 Arno and Sgt. Steve Salerno and K9 Lou.
Lt. Stephen Elliott said having an officer take on the task is impressive.
Donations can be sent to L.E.A.S, RE: K9 Memorial, Attn: Officer Mel Emond #363, Southington Police Department, 69 Lazy Lane, Southington, CT 06489. There is also a GoFundMe page set up.
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