Memorial held for Bingo, Toronto police dog killed while on-duty in July
Published Friday, September 22, 2023 6:48PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 22, 2023 6:48PM EDT
A procession and memorial service was held Friday to remember and say goodbye to Bingo — a trusted Toronto Police Service (TPS) K9 unit police dog.
The two-year-old German Shepherd was killed this summer in the line of duty.
At the ceremony, Bingo was described as a brave dog who worked tirelessly to track down suspects.
“When Bingo arrived on scene at a call every officer knew he would do whatever possible to back them up. For these reasons and many more, he will forever be remembered as a protector,” Chief Myron Demkiw said to a room of TPS officers, many from K9 units in Ontario.
Officers say Bingo embraced his role and bonded with many in the service. His loss was perhaps the most profound for his handler Sgt. Brandon Smith.
“I’ve had pets all my life and never thought I could have a stronger connection,” Smith said in an emotional tribute. ”But after spending every day with Bingo, both at work and at home, more often spending more time with him than Heather [my wife] or my children, we developed a bond that was deeper than having a pet.”
Bingo was killed when officers attended an apartment in the area of Dixon Road and Kipling Avenue in Etobicoke to arrest a man suspected of second-degree murder.
According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), when officers arrived, the suspect shot at officers, then took off and was later found in a backyard.
At some point during the interaction, the SIU said the suspect was wounded and that Bingo was shot and killed.
This sense of loss at the gathering was echoed in a speech by Toronto’s mayor, Olivia Chow.
“I want to extend my deepest condolences to you, Sgt. Brandon Smith and the entire Toronto Police Service for the loss they’ve suffered. The bond between police dog and handler is truly special,” Chow said.
Chow was previously criticized for speaking out about Bingo’s death.
A reception followed the ceremony, at Woodbine Banquet Hall which lasted about 45 minutes in length.