… that a memorial in Byram Park honors the town’s first police dog.
Yogi became the first police dog of the Greenwich Police Department in 1988. Less than one month on the job, Yogi saved the life of his handler, a lieutenant, who had been struggling with a knife-wielding subject. The canine law enforcer jumped through the open patrol car window and attacked the suspect.
K-9 Unit Training
Becoming a member of the police canine unit in Connecticut requires a 14-week training program conducted by a special branch of the Connecticut State Police. The training focuses on obedience, agility, tracking, building search, handler protection, evidence recovery, and canine health care—with additional training in the fields of search and rescue and narcotics detection. Both the dog and its handler are required to take mid-term and final examinations.
After serving the Greenwich Police Department from February 1988 to July 1995, Yogi retired having distinguished himself with the following awards: one National Police Hero Dog, two State of Connecticut Awards (Handler Protection and Suspect Apprehension), and five Greenwich Police commendations. During his time on the force, Yogi participated in 45 felony arrests and 270 investigations. He died in 1996, and a memorial sculpture, a tribute to his heroism, now stands in Bryam Park.
Karen Frederick, Curator and Exhibitions Coordinator, and Anne Young, former Curator of Library and Archives, of the Greenwich Historical Society contributed this article and co-curated the exhibition Everyday Heroes: Greenwich First Responders (September 14 through August 26, 2012) from which it is derived.