In the days following the death of Chandler’s police dog Bandit, the public has led an emotionally charged attack on the officer who was responsible for the 5-year-old Belgian Malinois.
This concerns two Valley residents who say people are forgetting about Bandit and are asking the community to attend a memorial service Sunday to honor the dog’s life.
Glenn Hammond, a 43-year-old from Phoenix, and Allison Teska, a 27-year-old from Mesa, didn’t know Bandit but hope others who did will come at 6:30 p.m. to Shawnee Park, 1400 W. Mesquite St. There people can share their stories, thoughts and prayers, Hammond said.
The service is open to all residents, pet owners and dogs.
Hammond is an area business owner who describes himself as “just a guy who loves dogs.” Last September, his 14-year-old Doberman pincher-German shepherd mix passed away.
Earlier in the week he approached his friend Teska about a memorial service after hearing that Bandit died when Sgt. Tom Lovejoy left the dog for about 13 hours in a police vehicle outside his home.
Hammond said he has seen the anger and hurt expressed from an outraged community and believes the focus needs to be shifted to Bandit.
“Let’s change the focus and change that energy to something good,” he said.
Teska, who works in marketing and communications, said people need to remember the police dog that served the community.
The Chandler Police Department is conducting an internal affairs investigation to determine if Lovejoy violated any department policies. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has started a criminal investigation since Lovejoy lives on a county island.
Chandler police are discussing whether they will have a private service for Bandit, police spokesman Sgt. Rick Griner said.