K-9 memorial stands guard at police station

By: Eric Czarnik | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published May 24, 2012

 Boy Scout Joshua Geary, 14, poses next to the K-9 police dog memorial that he planned and built in front of the West Bloomfield Police Department. The statue was publicly unveiled during a May 17 ceremony.

Boy Scout Joshua Geary, 14, poses next to the K-9 police dog memorial that he planned and built in front of the West Bloomfield Police Department. The statue was publicly unveiled during a May 17 ceremony.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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Police dogs had their day to be honored with their human companions May 17.

A new K-9 police dog memorial was publicly unveiled during a National Police Week memorial ceremony for fallen officers at the West Bloomfield Police Department May 17.

The memorial, created by 14-year-old Boy Scout Joshua Geary, includes a bronze German shepherd statue with a badge around its neck. It contains a written passage called “A Working Dog’s Oath” that describes the dedication of a police dog to its human guardian.

West Bloomfield Police Chief Michael Patton said the memorial service was filled with emotion, and the invited officers and K-9 dog handlers were touched by the new exhibit.

“They were all impressed with the quality of the memorial,” Patton explained. “The electrical work and the landscaping — he really did it all, and it really turned out well. It was quite a lot of work for a 14 year old to do.”

Geary, who belongs to Waterford’s Boy Scout Troop No. 185, thrilled the West Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees when he presented the idea to them in January. Geary is the son of West Bloomfield police officer Jim Geary, who has had previous experience handling police dogs.

The teenager said he oversaw the memorial installation as part of his Eagle Scout leadership project, which is an essential part of attaining the highest rank of Scouting.

“I wanted to do something that had to do with animals,” he said. “The police dog seems like a fitting thing to do.”

Geary said he found the premade dog statue on a website of an Orlando business, and it took work and planning to get the landscaping, pedestal and inscription done.

He initially estimated the project’s cost at around $6,000 and planned to fund it through donor-inscribed brick pavers. While the final project cost around $7,000, he said, he had no shortage of money.

“There was a lot of support,” he said. “I even got donations as far as Colorado.”

Geary said West Bloomfield police asked him to finish the project before the police memorial, and while it took a little extra effort, he achieved his goal in time for the officers to see. “Just about all of them had positive things to say,” he added.

According to Patton, the K-9 statue and memorial will remain a permanent fixture of the Police Department’s exterior. “It will be here for people to see long after most of us are gone,” he said.

The K-9 memorial is located at the West Bloomfield Police Department, 4530 Walnut Lake Road, in West Bloomfield. Call (248) 975-9200 to learn more.

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