New London police facing complaint over dog training in cemetery

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New London — Police dog training conducted at a New London cemetery this week has led to at least one complaint about the appropriateness of the location and the conduct of officers there.

The training at Cedar Grove Cemetery, 638 Broad St., on Thursday involved at least two K-9s and three officers, New London police Capt. Brian Wright said. The dogs, their trainers and handlers practiced detecting and locating both drugs and people.

The department received an anonymous complaint that the dogs were urinating and/or defecating on or near graves at the cemetery.

Wright said the officers participating in the training dispute allegations of the anonymous caller and accounts of the incident circulating on social media. The social media posts led one irate person, who has family buried in Cedar Grove, to voice his disgust to the department.

It is never the intention of officers to be disrespectful to either the site or those buried there, Wright said. In fact, he said, there are members of officers' families buried at the cemetery.

Cedar Grove and nearby St. Mary’s Cemetery at 600 Jefferson Ave. have been used, with permission from caretakers, for several years for K-9 training.

Wright said he invites anyone with information about misuse of the cemetery to contact the department.

g.smith@theday.com

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