Officer Found To Be Negligent After Leaving K-9 Dog In Car

Bandit

Sergeant Tom Lovejoy, of the Chandler Police Department, will serve a two day suspension without pay and will no longer serve with the department’s K-9 unit.

In August, Lovejoy left his K-9 dog, Bandit, in the car for more than 12 hours in 109 degree temperatures. The five-year-old Belgian Malinois died from the intense heat.

The department’s investigation concluded on Friday, and it was determined Lovejoy acted negligently, but not recklessly. In Arizona, there is no law against negligent animal abuse.

Chandler Police Chief Sherry Kiyler released a statement: “In the best interest of the community, and our organization, it would be inappropriate to allow him to remain in a K-9 assignment.” Lovejoy’s suspension was for “conduct unbecoming and neglect of duty.”

Lovejoy wants the situation to be put behind him and he wants to move on. He stated, “I think what’s very important for people to look at what is the actual law. Negligence is not one of the culpable mental states for this kind of accident.”

He added that he bought a new K-9 dog to replace Bandit and had hoped that he would work with the dog. Although he is sad that he will no longer be in the K-9 unit, Lovejoy said he is just happy that he still has a job.

Lovejoy is still facing animal abuse charges in Maricopa County. He is scheduled to be in court on Wednesday.

Source: East Valley Tribune, AZ Family

19 Responses to “Officer Found To Be Negligent After Leaving K-9 Dog In Car”

  1. Tammy says:

    Yeh They should put him behind bars all he cares about is getting another dog to replace the other one forget that the poor dog suffered a horrible death. He should not work for the dept at all! He also should not be able to own any pets. He’s a menace to society.

  2. My Personal “Keep Me Up To Date On The Top News” blog » Officer Found To Be Negligent After Leaving K-9 Dog In Car says:

    […] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerptHe added that he bought a new K-9 dog to replace Bandit and had hoped that he would work with the dog. Although he is sad that he will no longer be in the K-9 unit, Lovejoy said he is just happy that he still has a job. … […]

  3. Anonymous says:

    I hopes that he takes care of the new dog better than he did poor, poor Bandit. I feel that the new dog should be rescued from him and given a good and safe home. Bandit was not that lucky. The fact that he thinks he would still work with dogs for the police dept. is just insane.

  4. Nancy G. says:

    So he’s quibbling about the meaning of the “actual law” and just wants to get on with his life and put it behind him? Shows he really is lacking any kind of remorse or sense of guilt. With that kind of lack of responsibility, no wonder he left poor Bandit in a hot car for 12 hours. When I look at the alert, intelligent face of that dog, it makes me sick to think of how he ended his life. Why this man isn’t spending sleepless nights is beyond me.

  5. pat says:

    if i were a resident of arizona, i’d be all over my state rep about expanding animal abuse laws to cover situations like this. i agree with you Nancy G, the dog looks more alert, intelligent and compassionate than the man who caused his death.

  6. Lynne says:

    If in Arizona there is no law against negligent animal abuse then why is he still facing animal abuse charges in Maricopa County? Is there something else to the story?

    Jeez, like this family needs another dog.

  7. furmom says:

    The police department may be confident he can do his job, but which officer wants him for a partner after he neglected to look after his previous partner’s life?

  8. catmom5 says:

    I hope that his new K-9 dog will be reassigned to someone a lot more compassionate and responsible.

  9. Judy says:

    This jerk should not have a job at all I agree with furmom who would want this guy watching your back. He shows no remose at all, I’m wondering if he “bought” a new K9 as a condition of keeping his job. Police dogs are very expensive to get and train.

  10. janet says:

    that’s not even a slap on the wrist what he got. Maybe they should tell him he was naughty and to not do it again. I’m glad I don’t live in Arizona, I can’t believe this kind of behavior goes unpunished in the United States.

  11. Nikki says:

    Had a citizen committed this gross act of neglect, they would be facing serious criminal charges, but because this is a cop, he gets a mere 2 days suspension without pay. That’s insulting to the dog’s memory and to everyone who has fought hard to get tougher cruelty laws passed. This is the classic legal double-standard of a law enforcement agency aiding and abetting in the crimes of their sworn personnel while throwing the book at Joe Citizen for lesser offenses.

    Disgusting.

  12. CD says:

    “Lovejoy wants the situation to be put behind him and he wants to move on. He stated, “I think what’s very important for people to look at what is the actual law…”

    Really? Move on? Because the ‘actual law’ wasn’t broken? We should just forget that this guy killed a beautiful, intelligent, K-9 Officer ?

    He shows no remorse, no acknowledgement of wrongdoing. Even though the actual dog is now dead.

    Well here’s one thing we can do. Publish his photo and an article about what he did, far and wide. And continue every year on the anniversary of Bandit’s death. We can assure Lovejoy that animal lovers won’t forget.

  13. Lynn says:

    He got a slap on the wrist with a wet noodle. And it sounds to me like he bought the dog for the department as a covert way of hoping to keep his job in the K9 division.

    Shame on Arizona for not protecting its animals from humans!

  14. Cares says:

    He killed his partner. I do not think this should be allowed or condoned. What would I get if I killed it ??? Someting more serious I am sure. He must be forgetful. Not a good attribute for a Police Officer.
    To Serve and Protect must be out of fashion.

  15. MaineMom says:

    If he couldn’t protect his partner, I sure wouldn’t want him as my back-up as a fellow peace officer or “protecting” me as a citizen. He just added a new definition of bad cop to my dictionary.

  16. Sylvia says:

    How sad, this man has to serve a two day unpaid suspension, can’t work with K-9s any more and wants to get on with his life. Too bad the dog he murdered can’t get on with his life. This jerk should be fired and jailed - there is no excuse for what he did - pity the people who get him in response to a call for help. The department should be ashamed.

  17. Kerry says:

    TWELVE HOURS? He didn’t just leave the dog in the car in 109 degree temps, he left him in there for TWELVE HOURS. That is more than irresponsible and more than just negligent. I hope that Maricopa county steps up and gives him something near punishment - although, he will never get anything close to what that poor dog had to endure. I hope the memories of what he did and what the dog went through haunt him the rest of his days…

  18. Becky says:

    I see this as the same thing as killing a police dog. If a citizen kills a police dog, there is an uproar and laws are followed. Why is this guy still going to be employed? He killed his partner! He should be in jail and not allowed to work in police work again. The punishment they gave him does not fit the crime at all, especially when you consider the amount of money and training that the department had spent on the dog. The police dog handlers that I used to know would do anything for their dogs. This guy is a disgrace to his department and to K-9 officers.

  19. Carol Johnson says:

    Bandit was failed twice…first by his jerk of a partner…..and secondly by the so-called justice system.

    If you will recall….Lovejoy tried to cover his actions by claiming his son was in an auto accident…..but then it came out that he was out shopping and eating…..what a complete ass.


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