End of Watch: December 20, 2005
The Bristol Connecticut Police Department K9 Unit sadly announces the line of duty death of K9 Bosco. Officer Greg Blackinton and K9 Bosco responded to a burglary in progress call on December 10th of 2005. The suspect was believed to be trapped in the house and armed with at least two loaded handguns. The decision was made to deploy K9 Bosco into the house to detain the suspect. With officers surrounding the entire house and a nearby elementary school on lock-down, K9 Bosco made entry through a garage door and began his search for the hiding suspect.
An officer at the rear of the house failed to notify other officers that a rear sliding door was ajar. Not finding any trace of the suspect on the first floor, K9 Bosco expanded his search and exited the open rear slider. K9 Bosco quickly found the rear perimeter officer and briefly engaged him, then released and began to return to the interior of the house. The K9 then turned around and headed back towards the perimeter officer. Although this officer was armed with his pepper spray, his PR-24 and his Taser, the officer panicked and turned his shotgun on K9 Bosco. Although Bosco was wearing a bullet proof vest, the close range blast from the 12 gauge shotgun ended his tour of duty at 10:00 a.m. of 12/20/2005.
The Bristol ERT made entry and determined the suspect had fled the house prior to the perimeter being set up. The suspect was detained 90 minutes later in the commission of an armed robbery on the other side of the City.
Bosco was well known and loved in the City of Bristol for his hard working approach to the job. He was a K9 that truly loved to work. In his last 60 days on the job, K9 Bosco protected fellow officers by detaining a suicidal, knife wielding suspect in a dark wooded area, apprehended another suspect hidden in a housing project basement and seized nearly 4 pounds of marijuana on separate raids with the Bristol Narcotics Unit.
We hope that the unfortunate circumstances surrounding his death will inspire handlers to better educate fellow officers on how to handle K9 deployments and confrontations with a K9 in work mode. K9 Bosco will be loved and missed.