West Hartford Police Department mourns loss of K9 officer

Courtesy: West Hartford Police Department

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — On Wednesday, K9 officer, Reign, was picked up at his residence in a fully marked K9 cruiser and was given his last ride after six years of service with West Hartford Police Department.

Reign was born in 2002 in the Czech Republic and later was raised and trained in Holland. He was certified as a level III IPO, which is the highest level a service dog can title. He was purchased by the West Hartford Police Department in 2006 and teamed up with then Officer Savastra. K9 Reign graduated K9 school through Renbar Kennels in 2006 and after that, K9 Reign and Ofc. Savastra became a successful team together.

During his career, K9 Reign was known for his high drive, athletic ability and tenacity, according to West Hartford Police Department. A highlight of K9 Reign and Ofc. Savastra’s career together was when K9 Reign located burglars in buildings, most notably a burglar hiding up inside of the ceiling of the Colt Building in Hartford. K9 Reign also made countless drug finds, most notably a hidden drug trap inside of a vehicle, which yielded several bundles of heroin and a stolen handgun. K9 Reign tracked down countless suspects and missing persons. Most notably, K9 Reign tracked a robbery suspect through the woods, neighborhood yards and streets for a mile and a half, apprehended several people and performed a successful bark and hold of a suspect wanted for a violent domestic violence incident.

Officers describe K9 Reign as a one-of-a-kind K9 who knew when it was time to work and when it was time to play. After retiring in 2012, Reign took on the responsibility of protecting his family and home time. Officers say, as expected, he has also fulfilled this duty with distinction.

K9 Reign retired from the department in 2012, but remained a part of the family with frequent visits to the station. On Wednesday, Reign was picked up at his house and was given his last ride in a marked K9 cruiser. According to officers, K9 Reign was clearly aware of being in the cruiser again. He was driven by the West Hartford Police Department in front of approximately 30 officers standing at attention to pay their final respects. At 6 p.m., K9 Reign was euthanized in his backyard with his former handler Det. Rosario Savastra and his wife, Andrea, at his side.

West Hartford Police Department says K9 Reign will be missed by all of his West Hartford Police Department family. The department says they are indebted to Reign for his years of service.

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