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Westside Digest

Culver City : City Retiree Leads Dog's Life

August 31, 1989

City officials who retire are often lauded by the City Council for their service, and it was no less the case at Monday's council meeting--except this time one of the commendations was for a dog.

Greif, a German shepherd and a 4 1/2-year veteran of the Police Department, retired this month after participating in 107 searches for suspected felons, officials said. At age 7, he will settle into a slower pace of life and continue to live with his partner, Officer Cerris Black.

Greif and the department's three other German shepherds have "(reduced) hazards to officers immeasurably," Assistant Police Chief Paul Moncur said. "Instead of the officer going through a darkened building" and perhaps bumping into a dangerous suspect, "you have the dog doing it."

The four-legged police "employees" are more effective than officers in a variety of tasks, Moncur said. For example, he said, it takes 10 officers five hours to search a shopping mall, but two police dogs and their two handlers can do the job in four hours. The dogs' duties also include sniffing for drugs, controlling crowds, and searching for guns or other contraband dropped by suspects.

During Greif's career, he saved the department more than 1,200 man-hours of police work, "thereby saving the taxpayers of Culver City a great deal of money," his commendation reads. The council has previously honored three other worthy canine retirees, said Sgt. Gary McEwen, supervisor of the K-9 unit.

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