01/02/2001

Patrol officer forced to kill
fellow officer's canine during
mistaken attack on third officer
[Greenfield, IN]

December 30, 2000, Saturday, City Final Edition
Copyright 2000 The Indianapolis Star
The Indianapolis Star
December 30, 2000, Saturday, City Final Edition

(GREENFIELD, Ind.) -- The Greenfield Police Department lost one of its officers in the line of duty early Friday morning.

But this was no ordinary officer. Flur -- a 4-year-old Dutch shepherd -- served with the department for three years as a drug and attack dog.

"The dog is considered to us as one of our fellow officers," said Sgt. Brian Guinn.

Flur was shot to death at the Indiana Knitware Corp. in Greenfield. The dog and his handler, Patrolman Toby Holliday, were tracking several burglary suspects inside the building when Flur suddenly ran out a side door and mistakenly began attacking a fellow officer.

Flur bit Sgt. Brian Brey on his inner thigh, then pulled him to the ground, where the attack intensified. At that point, witnesses said, Brey pulled his gun and fatally shot the dog.

"The dog could have easily taken his leg off," said Greenfield Police Chief Clarke Mercer. "The handler was too far away inside the building to do anything. The officer did the right thing. He had to shoot the dog."

The department is responding as it would to the death of any other officer. Black patches cover the officers' badges. The flag outside the police station is flying at half staff. And Flur's handler must go on without his partner.

"As expected, Toby is very upset about what happened. He lost a close friend," Mercer said.

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