Police K9 Runs to River in Search of Missing Handler

Posted by Krissy Howard
The Buffalo News

A community hasn't given up hope in searching for a police officer that went missing last week, and neither has his K9 companion.

Several agencies are still searching for a City of Buffalo police officer after he disappeared in the Niagara River last week during a police divers training session last Friday, The Buffalo News reports. The officer, 34-year-old Craig Lehner, had his K9 dog Shield in his car while partaking in a routine drill with fellow officers.

Lehner went missing sometime during the exercise, and authorities are still searching for him, including Shield, who reportedly jumped from the backseat of his squad car upon being released, running right to the river's edge in search of his handler.

"We all got tears in our eyes and choked up a little," Lt. Salvatore Losi said in an interview with the outlet. "When we opened the door, he knocked us out of the way, myself and a couple of other handlers, and he ran down to the river and started running back and forth, searching."

police and k9
The Buffalo News

Lehner is a nine-year veteran of the force and had been working as one of five members of the BPD K9 unit for just over a year.

The officer is well respected by his peers, who are quick to speak highly of him despite being devastated by the events of last week.

"... we all looked at him as our future," Losi added. "The challenge now will be finding someone to live up his standards. He already trained one dog, and he's a guy who would have trained many more dogs in his career."

At this time, local, state, federal, and Canadian officials are still searching for Officer Lehner.

What do you think of Shield's loyalty to his missing partner? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Police K9 Runs to River in Search of Missing Handler