Two new K9 members are ready to join the Metro Vancouver Transit Police team, named after late police officers in Canada.
The pair will work as explosive detection police dogs, graduating from training and receiving their police badges June 30 in a ceremony that will also honour the late Canadian police officers after whom they are named.
Puppy Harnett is a two-year-old German short-haired pointer. His name honours Sgt. Andrew Harnett of the Calgary Police Service, who was killed in the line of duty on New Year’s Eve, 2020. Harnett was struck by a vehicle fleeing a traffic stop and he succumbed to his injuries despite the efforts of his police colleagues and paramedics.
“We wish to thank the Metro Vancouver Transit Police for honouring Sgt. Andrew Harnett in the naming of a police service dog in his memory. We will never forget the ultimate sacrifice Andrew made and it brings us comfort knowing he will be remembered in Vancouver as well,” said the Calgary Police Service and Harnett’s family in a statement.
The second new police dog, Chopper, is an 18-month-old black Labrador retriever, whose name honours Const. Ryan ‘Chopper’ Masales of the Abbotsford Police Department. In September 2016, Masales was diagnosed with an aggressive stage four brain tumour after collapsing while on duty. Despite several attempts at treatment over the following years, Masales lost his battle on March 26, 2020.
“Ryan loved his work, but the thing he loved most in life was being a father to his now 10-year-old son Ryder. Family was his passion along with being kind to others. Anyone who knew him would agree that he truly was one of a kind. Ryan bravely fought his disease, never giving up. We will always love him and something that is loved is never lost,” said Ryan’s spouse, Estelize Masales.
Harnett and Chopper will join the rest of the dog team in keeping the transit system safe while bringing awareness to the legacies of Harnett and Masales in their devotion to community service.