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SAUGUS — Five months ago, K-9 Bruin of the Saugus Police Department died. Now officers are raising money to erect a memorial for the department’s fallen police dogs.
A car show will be held Aug. 24 to raise money for the effort. Officers with the Saugus Police Patrol Union are unsure where the monument will be placed, but are hoping the town will allow it to be somewhere at the police station.
“Bruin was a police officer — it’s as simple as that,” said Domenic Montano, the community events coordinator for the police union.
Bruin died in March, shortly after he was diagnosed with cancer. His partner, Officer Timothy Fawcett, retired last month.
When Montano learned that Bruin would be euthanized, he organized a police escort for the dog. It included police vehicles from Saugus and surrounding communities, and all the police dogs Bruin trained with on the North Shore.
News traveled overnight and, as Bruin took his final ride, residents lined the streets with their own furry friends to thank him for his service.
Children at the Oaklandvale Elementary School created handmade signs, letters and lined the sidewalk in front of the school to wave goodbye to the K-9.
As weak as he was, Fawcett said Bruin heard the children chanting his name and stood to his feet as they drove by.
Bruin was Fawcett’s second police dog. Before Bruin, he had Beny, the department’s first police dog in 25 years. Fawcett made it a priority to bring both dogs to events around town to let the community get to know them.
“I liked to do a lot of community events with them and bring him to schools,” said Fawcett. “I needed to trust them with kids. They were part of our family, but when I needed them they were there.”
Interim Saugus Police Chief Ronald Giorgetti said he has not yet decided who the next K-9 officer will be or when that person will start.
“K-9 Bruin had a very huge impact on the town,” said Montano. “The reason for it is definitely Bruin, but we don’t want to leave the other dogs out. We’ve had seven K-9s since the ’60s.”
Part of the event will honor Fawcett and Bruin, he said.
The car show will be from noon to 6 p.m. at the Target parking lot on Lynn Fells Parkway. Spectators can view the cars for free and can choose to enter to win 17 different raffle baskets.
First, second and third place awards will be given in four categories: best police cars, best in show, motorcycles and movie cars. Montano will bring his replica of the Jeep in “Jurassic Park.” A replica of the car in “Ghostbusters” will also be there. Attendees will be treated to music and ice cream, and can purchase food from vendors, including Texas Roadhouse and Famiglia Fornaciari Wood Fired Pizza.
Chelmsford Police’s narcotic-trained K-9 will give demonstrations and several therapy dogs will attend. New England All Breed Rescue will bring puppies eligible for adoption and spectators are encouraged to bring their own dogs.
Montano is still looking for more cars to join, including antique police vehicles. The cost to register is $20 and can be paid online at www.sauguscarsandcops.com or at the gate on the day of the show.