SAN DIEGO -- San Diego police officers and K-9s were honored with a new memorial statue that was unveiled during a ceremony Wednesday.
The memorial statue is outside the San Diego Police Department's K-9 training facility. It recognizes the original police dog unit formed in 1984.
In the program’s 34-year history, only one dog has died in the line of duty. In 1994, “Bando” was assisting his partner in the search for a murder suspect when he was injured. The K-9 later died from its injuries. The memorial honors Bando with a bronze statue of the German Shepard.
The handlers of the K-9 unit, the San Diego Police Foundation and its donors were also recognized during the ceremony Wednesday.
“The police foundation has purchased every working police dog for the City of San Diego since 2002. Each of which now costs $14,000 and that’s the community participation at its finest,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said.
Every K-9 in the program was included in the memorial. Names of new dogs will be added in the future.