GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The Greenburgh Police Department announced Thursday that veteran K-9 police dog Patriot had died at age 12.
Patriot, a German shepherd who worked with with his handler Detective Wayne Papovitch from 2002 until being retired in 2010, received his name from the second-grade class of Nancy Bowerman of Sacred Heart School in Hartsdale. The name was a tribute to those who perished in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Papovitch and Patriot were partnered and received extensive training from the City of Yonkers Police Department K9 unit.
"Patriot has had some health problems recently," Papovitch said when asked about his retired partner last week at a K-9 demonstration with his new dog Metro at Alexander Hamilton High School. "He was an amazing dog to work with."
Patriot was trained for patrol, tracking and narcotics detection, apprehended numerous suspects and made many successful “hits” on drug locations.
"(Patriot) was an invaluable asset to the police department throughout his tenure," Greenburgh Police Information Officer Lt. Brian Ryan said. "However, it was his other role, serving as an ambassador for the department when interacting with many young school children on a regular basis that endeared this faithful canine to all who came in contact with him.
The Hartsdale Pet Cemetery has graciously offered to inter Patriot at the cemetery on Central Park Avenue in Hartsdale as his final resting place.
A ceremony is being planned for Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 10 a.m. at the Hartsdale Pet Cemetery.