SMYRNA, Tenn. (WKRN) – Smyrna police honored the life and service of a K-9 officer that died over the summer on Friday.
A memorial ceremony was held outside the fire station off Enon Springs Road West. A headstone for Renzo was placed beside other Smyrna police K-9s that have died over the years.
Fellow police officers and friends gathered with Renzo’s handler Officer Don Godby and his wife for the ceremony. Godby and Renzo worked together since 2008.
Renzo died in July 2019 after retiring in 2015 due to health reasons.
“For us traditionally, all of our K-9 have been narcotics only,” said Sgt. Bobby Gibson. “Renzo was the first dog that was a dual-purpose dog, which means he was not only trained for narcotics detection but also tracking and apprehension if necessary.”
Sgt. Gibson was a K-9 handler himself and said the dogs really have a close relationship with other members of the department.
“A K-9 is not only part of our department but they become close members of the family. Obviously, when an agency loses a member of its agency whether it be a human officer of an animal officer it’s a severe impact to the agency but really it affects the family,” said Sgt. Gibson.
He said K-9s not only have to protect citizens but other police officers as well.