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Officers from the Toronto Police Services (TPS) gathered on the morning of July 27 to honor their fallen four-legged comrade, K-9 Bingo, who died in the line of duty.
The two-year-old German Shepherd was shot and killed on Tuesday, July 25, when officers tried to arrest a 44-year-old armed man for murder.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said Bingo, who was assisting in the search for the murder suspect in the backyard of a nearby residence in Etobicoke, was shot and killed by the man, according to CityNews Toronto.
Last week, before the procession, TPS also lowered their flag at their headquarters and at Service facilities across the city “in honour of police dog Bingo who sacrificed his life in service of public safety”.
Accordin to CityNews Toronto, TPS invited the public to watch the Thursday morning procession for the police dog.
The procession for the K-9 hero began with the Toronto Police forming an Honor Guard outside the Emergency Veterinary Clinic at Yonge street at 7:30 AM.
The TPS Police Dog Services team, including Bingo’s partner and handler Sgt. Brandon Smith, carried Bingo’s casket and said their final goodbyes to the goodest boy in the force.
Toronto police Chief Myron Demkiw who was in attendance for the procession, thanked Bingo for his service on Twitter saying, “Thank you for keeping our members safe, and thank you for your service.”
According to TPS, Bingo joined the Police Dog Services in July 2022. And he underwent an intense training program with Sgt. Smith and graduated in December 2022.
Demkiw also revealed in a Wednesday press conference that Sgt. Smith not only trained with the dog, but also lived with him.
“They live with those dogs, they become part of their immediate family,” Demkiw said, as reported by Global Toronto.
According to Staff Sergeant Eric Hembruff, Bingo is described to be a “high-drive energy dog who bonded well with his partner in the short time they were together.”
Hembruff added, “He has had a few successes in his seven months and was very good at his job. He made the ultimate sacrifice, taking a bullet that might have been meant for one of our officers.”
Demkiw emphasized the vital role canines play in making sure the community is safe.
“They provide an additional resource to our members to help keep communities safe, whether it is tracking a suspect, apprehending violent suspects or tracking and locating evidence, some of which is incredibly dangerous,” he noted.
In addition to Bingo’s procession, the TPS also created an online book of condolences where members of the public can leave their messages for the fallen four-legged hero. You can find the online book here.