On March 10, 2015, Everett Chief of Police Steven A. Mazzie announced the passing of K-9 Warner, an explosive ordinance detection dog who served the City of Everett, the police department and many other surrounding communities for 9 years. K-9 Warner had retired from service in 2014 and spent his retirement at the home of his handler, Patrolman Eric Rizza and his family.
Chief Steven Mazzie said, “Warner and Officer Rizza had been a great team and source of pride for our department. We are saddened that Warner had passed and didn’t get to enjoy more time in retirement. From the day he joined our department, he was fun to watch at work and made significant contributions to many cases and protective sweeps.”
K-9 Warner was born in New York and bred for the Guiding Eyes for the Blind to serve as a seeing eye dog for the visually impaired. At 18 months old, K-9 Warner was selected by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to become an explosive ordinance detection dog. In the summer of 2006, Patrolman Rizza and Warner attended extensive training courses at the A.T.F. Academy. In addition to training from the A.T.F., Warner received certificates from the Connecticut State Police K-9 Unit, Boston Police Department K-9 Unit, and the International Police Work Dog Association.
Warner was the first Explosive Ordinance Detection canine to be deployed on protective searches at the Distrigas facility in Everett. Patrolman Rizza and Warner also participated in protective sweeps for the annual Boston Fourth of July celebration on the Esplanade, the 2007 and 2013 World Series at Fenway Park and the 2008 Belle Island Grand Prix in Detroit, Michigan. Warner and his handler also participated in protective sweeps for visiting dignitaries in Boston including Prime Minister of England Tony Blair, the 14’th Dalai Lama and the First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama.
K-9 Warner not only served the citizens of Everett but was also served surrounding communities to assist on mutual aid calls. Patrolman Rizza and Warner responded to calls from other police agencies for bomb threat calls and numerous calls for searches for firearms and ammunition, many of which involved homicides in Eastern Massachusetts.
Patrolman Eric Rizza and K-9 Warner also responded to the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombing on Boylston Street on April 15, 2013. Warner conducted numerous protective sweeps that eventful day as well as the days that followed. Warner also participated in the security sweep of the 2014 Boston Marathon before retiring in August.