- Associated Press - Sunday, October 12, 2014

MEDINA, Ohio (AP) - The loss of a police dog to heatstroke has prompted a northeast Ohio police department to purchase a sophisticated new temperature control and monitoring system.

Police in Montville Township, near Medina, said the system will be installed in all designated K-9 cruisers. If the temperature gets too hot, the windows will roll down and a fan will turn on. A pager system also will alert a police officer.

The purchase comes a little over a week after the township’s police dog Beny died from heatstroke. The two-year-old German Shepherd had joined the police department about a year ago.

The dog died after Sgt. Brett Harrison left him in a hot police cruiser for more than four hours.

Harrison issued a statement Tuesday expressing his “deepest apology” to Montville Township and to his “partner, friend and loving family member Beny.” He received a two-week unpaid suspension and lost 40 hours of vacation in connection with the death.

Lt. Matt Neil said the $2,500 temperature control system is intended to help the department avoid similar tragedies in the future.

“This is just devastating to our agency,” he said. “We’re dedicated to making sure this doesn’t happen again.”

The department was already in the process of getting another K-9 when Beny died. Neil said its K-9 program will continue, but no dog will set foot in a cruiser until the temperature control system is installed.

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