A Florida sheriff’s office is naming a new K-9 after a sergeant who was killed while on duty last year.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office named the K-9 Roy, which is Sergeant Brian Lavigne’s middle name. His Daughter, Caitlin LaVigne, is a deputy at the sheriff’s office and said that the dog will keep her dad’s spirit alive.
“My dad was tough as nails, just like the dogs are, so it’s nice to know that he’s still kind of out here with us,” LaVigne said.
A press release from the sheriff’s office noted that Sergeant LaVigne was only one shift away from retirement on Jan. 11, 2021, when a suspect intentionally crashed his car into the marked patrol vehicle that Sergeant LaVigne was in.
He died because of the injuries sustained in the crash.
Sheriff Chad Chronister said that it’s an honor that the LeVigne family allowed the office to use his name for the K9.
“This tribute to Sgt. Brian LeVigne is one that will be ever present to anyone that comes into contact with K-9 Roy. While we continue to heal as an agency after losing Sergeant LeVigne, I know that K-9 Roy will be a constant reminder of the life that was cruelly taken from us,” Chronister said.
The K-9’s handler is Deputy Sarah Ernstes, who is a close family friend of the LaVignes.
“For me, it was just a hope that it would give them some kind of peace and joy despite everything that they’ve been through that in this past year. I just hope that Roy and I can honor them and honor him in some way that they’ll be proud of us,” Ernstes said.
K-9 Roy is a Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd mix who is 1-years-old and specializes in searching for narcotics.