ANAHEIM (CBSLA.com) — For the first time in Anaheim, a special tribute has been unveiled honoring the city’s four-legged crime fighters.
The bronze monument was revealed Sunday at La Palma Dog Park on N. Anaheim Boulevard and was inspired by former Anaheim K-9 police officer, Bruno.
“I knew when game time came, he was going to be ready for it,” said Officer RJ Young of Bruno. They were on the job on March 20, 2014 when Bruno found an armed suspect hiding in the trash can.
Bruno was subsequently shot authorities say by the suspect. The bullet went through Bruno’s jaw and into his chest, collapsing his lung.
“If it wouldn’t have been him, most likely it would have been one of us,” said Officer Young.
Bruno took the bullet instead of other officers or, as Councilwoman Chris Murray says, crowds of nearby children.
“He stood in the line of fire and truly our schools were letting out all through the area when these bullets were flying,” she said.
Bruno spent weeks in intensive care and had multiple surgeries.
In honor of his sacrifice and the service of all Anaheim’s K-9 officers over the past three decades, the city unveiled the bronze sculpture titled Valor.
For the past two years Murray led efforts to build it. It was funded entirely by community donations large and small.
“I don’t know a dog that would do this,” said 9-year-old Garrett Murray, the council member’s son, who also donated. “I mostly know dogs that would run and like bark.”
The shooting ended Bruno’s career but he is now a loved member of Officer Young’s family.