Police and public officials across Arizona participated in a dedication ceremony April 7 for the Arizona Law Enforcement Canine Memorial, at Wesley Bolin Memorial Park in downtown Phoenix.
The new memorial honors the at least 16 police dogs killed in Arizona in the line of duty. Police officers paid tribute to their fallen furry colleagues at the event, including the only Tempe police dog ever killed in the line of duty.
The Tempe police dog honored was Officer Murph, who was killed in 1986 when he, along with Officer Carlos Araiza, were called to assist after a robbery suspect barricaded himself in a house. SWAT officers sent Murph in to distract the suspect; however Murph was shot and later died of his wounds.
Although Murph was killed by the suspect, his sacrifice to help protect SWAT officers and assist with the hostage rescue was not forgotten.
Before his death, Murph, who was obtained by Tempe from Phoenix police in 1981, had completed nearly 700 building and area searches, 24 drug searches and helped in the arrest of 45 suspects.
Speakers at the memorial dedication ceremony included Sen. Jim Waring, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris and Tucson Police Chief Richard Miranda.
Posted: April 8, 2006, 5 a.m. EST