State And Regional

K-9 ‘Brev,’ Officer Seara Burton’s partner, has retired from the Richmond Police Department

RICHMOND — K-9 “Brev,” partner to Police Officer Seara Burton, has retired from the Richmond Police Department and is now living with the late officer’s mother and stepmother, Chief Mike Britt said Wednesday.

" ‘Brev’ is happy at home,” the chief told News Center 7′s John Bedell in an exclusive interview.

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“It was the right thing to do,” he said, explaining there is a process for police officers and canines to select each other.

“We don’t know how that would go (with another officer). ‘Brev’ was completely at rest and at ease with that family and he is now residing with them. It seems as though it was a logical fit instead of trying to find another officer that could bond with ‘Brev.’

And so the K-9 now is living the life of a retiree.

The news about K-9 “Brev” came as the chief was reacting to a planned donation to the department’s K-9 unit from a Richmond business, the Warm Glow Candle Co., which raised $25,000 from the sale of hand-made candles honoring Officer Burton. The company chipped in its own money to raise the donation to $26,000.

Officer Burton was a member of our canine unit, Chief Britt said, “and she’s a fine example of the Richmond Police Department K-9 unit, as well as (our other two K-9 officers) . . . . So this means a lot and it’s donated in her memory.”

A new K-9 costs, on average, about $20,000, the chief said, and cost includes training as well as ancillary expenses such as sophisticated electronic lock and release mechanisms for police cars in the event of a loss of air conditioning. And officers can also remotely release the animal from a device worn on their gun belts.

And then there’s the cage, he said, usually custom built for the police vehicle.

Officer Burton died Sept. 18, five weeks after she was shot Aug. 10 during a traffic stop.