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Police mourn loss of canine

Date: 5/19/2009

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

SPRINGFIELD -- The Springfield Police Department is asking the public to help them raise the funds to replace a police canine who passed away from cancer earlier this month.

"Bojar" was the partner of Officer George "Timmy" Flanagan from 2002 until this year and according to Police Department spokesman Sgt. John Delaney, the dog was responsible for numerous felony arrests and drug seizures.

The department is seeking contributions from the public and businesses to buy a new dog. The cost is $5,000 and the department is hoping to match grant funds with the donations.

Police Commissioner William Fitchet told Reminder Publications "the Springfield Police Department K-9 Unit is an invaluable asset to the protection of the citizens of Springfield. Officer Flanagan and Bojar were a good team and served our city well. Even though Bojar can never be replaced we are hoping to get enough funds to enable K-9 Officer Flanagan to partner-up with another K-9 who he will handle and train to patrol the city streets with him."

"During his career he located a fugitive hiding in a false wall of a three-story house in which a team of ten officers could not locate. Bojar also successfully tracked down a suspect from a housebreak in the Forest Park section of Springfield who turned out to a wanted 'breaker' from dozens of breaking and enterings in the same neighborhood. He also apprehended a suspect that was on the Massachusetts Parole Board's 'Ten Most Wanted Fugitive' list. Also during Bojar's stellar career, the canine apprehended a suspect who had just committed 'mayhem' and an attempted murder," Delaney said.

"Bojar was loved by hundreds of Springfield's school children," he added. The dog had performed numerous public and private canine demonstrations throughout the city for hundreds of children.

The dog had developed a quick spreading form of cancer on Easter Sunday.

Those interested in making a contribution should contact the commissioner's office at 787-6313.