Police services dog, Bo, died early Tuesday morning when the cruiser he was traveling in collided with another vehicle and struck a Hydro pole at Westminster Highway and No. 7 Road.
Bo and his handler were en route to a report of a theft in progress near the Britannia Shipyards in Steveston. Neither the handler nor the occupants in the other vehicle were injured.
According to RCMP, the police vehicle crossed over the road as a result of the collision and struck a hydro pole. At the time of the collision the emergency equipment on the police vehicle was activated.
Damage to the police vehicle as extensive, however, damage o the civilian vehicle involved was minimal.
"There are no words to describe how upsetting this is as we have lost a member of our police family," said RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Sherrdean Turley. "Police dogs receive regimental numbers just as every other sworn member of the RCMP and are heroes in every sense of the word. From finding missing children to locating discarded weapons at crime scenes to facing dangers head on to save the lives of their handlers."
"I don't know how front line officers could do their jobs if it wasn't for our police dogs."
Police dogs are treasured members of the RCMP family and they are devoted partners of the handlers they work with.
"The handler is obviously upset", said Staff Sergeant Ron Field of the Lower Mainland Police Dog Services.
"Bo was his first dog and he's lost his partner.
"It's a tough thing."
Bo was two years old.
He was only about eight months into his career following five months of intense training with his handler at the RCMP's Police Dog Service Training Facility in Innisfail, Alberta.
The Integrated Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Services arrived on the scene to investigate the collision and piecing together exactly how the crash had occurred.
Power to east Richmond has been affected in several areas and traffic has been rerouted on Westminster Highway between No. 6 and No. 8 roads.