Winnipeg police honour fallen dog Banner, who died from cancer
Published Thursday, December 5, 2019 11:44AM CST Last Updated Thursday, December 5, 2019 2:01PM CST
Police Service Dog Banner and his handler. (Source: Twitter/Winnipeg Police Service)
WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Police Service took to Twitter, Thursday morning to share the sad news that one of its four-legged officers had passed away from cancer.
Banner, who had been part of the K-9 unit since 2014, died on Wednesday at the Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital.
Police say Banner passed away suddenly and he will be missed.
Winnipeg Police Service Const. Jay Murray confirmed that Banner was instrumental in the capture of Bryan Kyle Thomas, the man convicted of second degree murder in the Feb. 14, 2017 stabbing death of Winnpeg Transit driver Ivrine Jubal Fraser.
In a statement from Banner’s handler, Const. Justin Casavant, he said Banner had more than 200 tracking arrests and was also part of hundreds of high-risk operations with members of the Tactical Support Team.
Casavant described what happened leading up to Banner's death.
“Less than 24 hours prior to his passing, on what turned out to be his last official shift, PSD Banner tracked from a stolen vehicle to a residence which led to the arrest of 2 individuals,” said Casavant in a statement.
“Banner started showing symptoms of being ill on Tuesday and was taken to a veterinary hospital. On Wednesday morning, it was determined that he had aggressive cancer that was causing him to deteriorate rapidly.”
Casavant and his wife thanked everyone who has supported them during this time and they are also thanking the Bridgewater Veterinary Hospital for the care that was provided on Wednesday.
Casavant also thanked Retired Sgt. Dave Bessason and Const. Dennis Robert for training and developing himself and Banner.
The K-9 unit is used to provide support to officers as they search for suspects on the run and in other capacities.
Winnipeg police are one of only a few police departments in Canada that operate its own in-house breeding program.
The WPS mainly use Belgian Malinois and German Shepherds as general-purpose dogs and Labrador retrievers as detector dogs.