Loving Memory of
Newtown Police Department
100 Municipal Drive
Newtown, PA 18940
TEL 215-598-7121 - FAX 215-504-2200
Qurus came to the
Newtown PD in 2002, about the same time that another German Shepherd
named Vox was joining the force. Both police dogs were born in Germany,
then trained and certified for tracking and narcotics detection duty.
Vox died of natural causes in 2007, leaving all the police duties to
"Q," until he retired last year. Qurus was handled by Patrolman Jeffrey
Johnson during the dog's entire service career. The dynamic duo made
several dramatic arrests and assisted numerous Delco law enforcement
agencies, as well as the Pennsylvania State Police, DEA and FBI units.
Qurus was diagnosed with cancer in February. His condition deteriorated
rapidly thereafter, leading to the decision to euthanize the heroic dog
two weeks later to spare him further discomfort. "Q will surely be
missed by his family, the members of the Newtown Police Department, as
well as the people who were fortunate enough to come into contact with
him," Supervisors Chairperson Linda Houldin said.
submitted by Jim Cortina,
Loving Memory of
Handler: Amy Fiano
K-9 teams from across state attend memorial
K-9 teams from across Connecticut attended a memorial service April 12
for two of their comrades, deceased K-9s Jag and Valor of the Windsor Police
Department. Coming from far corners of the state, such as Stratford and
Ledyard, cruisers marked "K-9" lined both sides of Broad Street. Forming
an honor processessional on each side of the central pathway of the town
green, K-9 teams with black bands across their badges lined the central
path of the town green.
Steven Vesco and Amy Fiano of the WPD carried the ashes of their former
K-9 partners along the honor processional and placed them on a draped table
where flower petals where strewn and next to a headstone for Jag and Valor.
Donated by the Ferraina family of Windsor, the headstone will be placed
outside the Public Safety Complex. In memory, Vesco and Fiano saluted Jag
and Valor. Both Jag and Valor had been retired after many years of service
to Windsor. Jag died this year on March 26 and Valor died March 28, 2007.
memorial service for Jag and Valor also paid respect to the dedication
of all police K-9 handlers and the special bond between officers and their
K-9 partners. As well, the service memorialized police K-9s that passed
without eulogy because it is rare for communities to host such a service.
Serving as master of ceremonies, Officer Christopher Moylan of the Enfield
Police Department K-9 unit indicated he hoped the memorial in Windsor will
encourage other towns to hold similar services.
hope this will have a domino effect," he said.WPD Detective Michele Neary,
who helped Moylan organize the service, read from a poem written by Moylan,
titled, "Heaven's Gate." An a cappella rendition of "Amazing Grace" sung
by Moylan's wife brought many in the audience to tears. Officer Eric A.
Rocheleau, of the West Hartford Police Department K-9 unit, praised Vesco
and Fiano for the "spotless and unbeliveable" reputation of the Windsor
police K-9 unit.
don't understand the bond an officer has with a K-9 partner, working double
shifts - they don't complain," said Rocheleau," t he stress of putting
them in harm's way, the thrill of the capture." Rocheleau went on to talk
about the emotions for officers that are tied to retiring their K-9 partners
and the depth of sorrow that comes when they die. Captain Thomas LePore
of the WPD noted that Valor had been a Fidelco guide dog that proved to
be too social for service with that organization. "So, Valor came to us,"
disposition made the canine ideal for community relations, and Valor and
Fiano became popular and much requested at school events, said LePore.
In addition, he said, Valor and Fiano were well known in town and always
welcomed while making their rounds by local businesspeople. At the time
Fiano was paired with Valor in 1997, she was one of just a few female handlers
in Connecticut. Serving from 1997 to 2004, Valor and Fiano were called
out many times to search for subjects or drugs.
Capain Kelvan Kearse not only worked with Jag and Vesco in Windsor but
also as commander of the regional SWAT team. "He was a pound dog," said
Kearse. Yet, paired with Vesco from 1997 to 2007, Kearse said, Jag developed
into a police K-9 that, in his opinion, was "second to none." Kearse said
Jag was trained to such precision that he could be sent in pursuit by Vesco
yelling, "go get him," but stop immediately in front of a suspect in a
"bark and hold" position without biting, unless it became absolutely neccessary.
shared some humorous memories of Jag and Vesco, but said when it came to
police work, the two were always serious. Vesco and Jag participated in
hundreds of arrests and numerous physical apprehensions, he noted. Jag
matured into a police K-9 with tracking skills so extraordinary, said Kearse,
that once Jag and Vesco were on a suspect's trail it was just a matter
of waiting to hear the inevitable message radioed in, "We got 'em." That
held true, noted Kearse, until Jag's last day on the job. "Jag's presence
will be missed," said Kearse.
the group, Vesco thanked many people, especially his wife and children
and the families of all K-9 team officers, for the sacrifice they endure
in the face of their loved one's long hours of training and duty. If there
is one piece of advice he could impart to other officers, Vesco said it
is "trust your dog." Windsor Police Chief Kevin Searles said later that
the memorial service was important. "It is important to reinforce the values
so important to officers, to rekindle their sense of dedication to duty
and the dedication of all officers to the mission of protecting the public,"
the ceremony came to a close, each K-9 team came forward to salute the
memory of Jag and Valor. At Vesco's request, Officer Richard Boyle of the
Manchester Police Department K-9 unit read the poem "Guardians of The Night."
Author unknown, excerpts of the poem read: "Trust in me my friend for I
am your comrade. I will protect you with my last breath when all others
have left you And the loneliness of the night closes in, I will be at your
side. Together we will conquer all obstacles, and search out those who
might wish harm to others. "For a time, we were unbeatable. Nothing passed
among us undetected. If we should meet again on another street, I will
gladly take up your fight, I am a Police Working Dog, and together we are
guardians of the night." The complete text of "Guardians of The Night"
can be found on the Connecticut Police Work Dog Association Web site.
submitted by Jim Cortina