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Norwalk Dog, Handler Named Officers of the Month

NORWALK, Conn. -- There's a reason the photo of the Norwalk Police Department's June officer of the month looks unusual–other than the fact there's a dog in it. Czar, the police dog who was stabbed through the tongue four weeks ago yet refused to let go of the suspect, is protective of his handler, Officer Frank Reda. The other men in the photo thought it best to give the highly trained canine some room.

"Normally you always try to put the officer in the middle of the commission," said Mayor Richard Moccia. "I started to walk around, Frank says, 'Oh, maybe you'd better go over here.' Czar is friendly but he's trained to be very protective of Frank."

Reda and Czar were honored for apprehending several armed men, police say, one of whom attacked the dog with two steak knives. Czar hung on for 7 to 8 minutes as he was being stabbed and kicked. He has made a full recovery, police say.

Also in the photo are Chief Harry Rilling and Police Commissioners Peter Torrano and Dan O'Connor.

Moccia said Norwalk's police dogs come from Czechoslovakia--commands are given in Czech--and cost $12,000 each. Some of that has come out of Homeland Security funds and some from asset forfeiture funds (money confiscated from lawbreakers).

"They're amazing animals, they really are," Moccia said. "We've had a series of great police dogs, but I think Czar may be the best we've ever had. ... I tell you, for a dog to hang on for 7 minutes while he's being stabbed, that is one tenacious dog."

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