Arlington has a growing number of monuments, markers, plaques, and public art. Many of these pay tribute to people who have made a difference in the city. A new monument downtown, though, pays tribute to the city’s service dogs in our police and fire departments.
The life-size sculptures honor the city’s K9 units. They’re modeled after Brickman and Mojo, two of the city’s former service dogs. They look realistic, too. I was downtown soon after the monument was unveiled. I didn’t know about it yet and thought they were actual dogs until I got up close.
K9 service dogs play a vital role in keeping residents and visitors safe in the city. Both the Arlington Police Department and Fire Department depend on K9s in their line of duty.
“The Arlington Police Department first K9 unit started in 1979. It had one dog and a handler. Today, there are four K9 units in the city. The teams are led by Dude, Boomer, Raider, and Ripken, along with their handlers. Police utilize the K9 units where high-risk felony suspects have fled the scene, or during requests from patrol to assist with narcotics investigations.” (source Susan Schrock, City of Arlington.)
“The Arlington Police Department first K9 unit started in 2006. It now has 12 dogs, including Jasper, Chase, Webster, Ben, Tania, George, Little, Crow, Raton, Kiara, Shiner, and Rocket. These Explosive Detection Canines are highly-trained and can detect 19,000 different explosive compounds. They protect and serve large crowds, [especially at our sports stadiums and other high-profile events and areas.]” (source Susan Schrock, City of Arlington)
Between the two dogs is a plaque that reads:
In recognition of the loyalty and service of Arlington’s Fire and Police K9 Teams and in memory of the K9’s who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Arlington Fire Department K9
Labrador Retriever, Officer Brickman
Arlington Police Department K9
German Shepherd, Officer Mojo
The bond between a K9 and handler is of eternal trust in a language unique to them alone.
We are forever grateful for their numerous acts of courage to protect and defend.
This tribute made possible by the generous donations of the Arlington community.
The monument is located at City Center Plaza. It’s a popular area that gets lots of foot traffic because of City Hall and the Downtown Arlington Library. When in the area, take a moment to admire the monument and pay respect to the K9 units of Arlington.
Check out the YouTube video for more!
Seth Vandable – local sculptor
The monument is by local sculptor Seth Vandable, who is based in the Dallas area. He also created the “Blue Sky Dream” and “The Gift” — two other sculptures in Arlington. (“Blue Sky Dream” is in the Arlington Sculpture Garden at Meadowbrook Park. “The Gift” is nearby at Levitt Pavilion.)
Mr. Vandable’s work includes public art, sculptures, memorials, and even superhero statues. Check out his website and portfolio, as he’s done some stunning work!
Schrock, Susan. “New Sculpture Downtown Honors City’s Police, Fire Service Dogs,” November 12, 2020. City of Arlington – official website. Accessed January 24, 2021. https://www.arlingtontx.gov/news/my_arlington_t_x/news_stories/k9_memorial_monument_unveiled
City of Arlington, TX. “Arlington Unveils K9 Memorial Monument,” November 12, 2020. YouTube. Accessed January 24, 2021.
Blog and photos by Jason S. Sullivan, 01-24-21
A big thank you to Susan Schrock and the City of Arlington for the information on their website and YouTube channel!