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Ariz. officer responsible for K9's death says he's sorry

The Associated Press
Related: Ariz. officer arrested in death of K9 partner

PHOENIX A Chandler police officer whose K-9 died after he left the dog unattended in his patrol car, is apologizing for the incident.

"I'm very sorry for everything that happened and I am very remorseful for the whole thing and letting everybody down in the community," said Chandler police Sgt. Tom Lovejoy.

"I want to go back to work and I want to serve the people, even those who are very critical of me."

But first, Lovejoy has a pretrial court appearance scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Last month, Lovejoy was arrested on suspicion of reckless animal abuse, a misdemeanor.

The case was investigated by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

"Our investigation determined that Bandit's death was not an intentional act on Lovejoy's part," Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said last month in a press release about Lovejoy's arrest. "But it was reckless and for that Lovejoy must be charged."

Chandler police Chief Sherry Kiyler said Friday the department has decided to remove Lovejoy from the K-9 unit and suspend him for two days without pay. The Chandler investigation also concluded that Lovejoy showed conduct unbecoming an officer.

Lovejoy has been working a desk job since the dog's death and will undergo a 90-day re-evaluation and be placed in a patrol position in January, police said.

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