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New London — Award-winning police dog Ike, a German shepherd who partnered with city police Officer Matthew Galante from 2004 to 2009, died unexpectedly on Thursday, according to police officials.
Ike had lived with the Galante family since his retirement.
While on the job, Galante and Ike pursued drug dealers through city streets and assisted other officers in traffic stops and arrests. The pair also helped find a suicidal woman in the woods of Norwich and a man armed with a knife who ran into the woods of Leary Park in Waterford.
“Ike wasn’t ‘just any’ police K9,” says a tribute to him on the New London Police Department’s Facebook page. “He was recognized as one of the elite police in the state.”
In 2008, Galante and Ike received the Daniel Wasson Memorial K9 Award by the Connecticut Police Work Dog Association, which recognizes police K-9 teams that exemplify the highest tradition of police K-9 law enforcement.
Galante, who has been working as a detective since 2009, will be promoted to sergeant Monday during a ceremony at City Hall.