WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - Westchester County police are investigating the death of one of the department’s K9 narcotics dogs that occurred in a patrol car last month.
Suki, a black Labrador retriever was found unresponsive in a patrol car on May 20 after a device designed to monitor the temperature in the vehicle either failed or was erroneously set up that night.
Suki, who has been with the department for five years, “assisted (the department’s) uniformed patrol force and the Narcotics Unit in investigations that led to the seizure of substantial quantities of illegal narcotics,” Westchester County police spokesman Kieran O’Leary said.
According to O’Leary, Suki had been assigned to a uniformed patrol officers and lived at her home. On the night she died, the two were working an overnight shift, when the officer took two suspects into custody on narcotics charges. The officer arrived at police headquarters with the suspects at approximately 5 a.m. when the temperature in the vehicle was described as “moderate.”
As the officer attempted to book the suspects, one of them became combative and unresponsive, extending the process by several hours, while Suki remained in the patrol car. During that time, the temperature-monitoring device, which is designed to sound an audible alarm and lower the windows of the car if temperatures rise to dangerous levels, failed.
Suki was rushed to an animal hospital but could not be revived.
“Our department is deeply saddened by her passing and grateful for Suki’s service to our officers and the people of Westchester,” O’Leary said.
The Westchester County Police Special Investigations Unit is currently investigating the incident. Because the investigation is ongoing and it involves personnel, the officer’s identity will not be released.
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