The internal investigation into the untimely death of a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office K-9 is complete. The investigation showed that Deputy Sheriff Randy Harrison accidentally left K-9 Brutus in his patrol vehicle at his home on June110, 2010. Brutus was found deceased by his handler (Harrison).
The investigation further showed that there was neither intentional malice nor criminal intent on behalf of the Deputy. Deputy Harrison had become distracted by personal events on the evening of the incident. Harrison left his home to attend to a personal matter and returned over an hour later to find that he left Brutus in his patrol vehicle.
Deputy Harrison was immediately place on administrative leave while the internal investigation took place. The Deputy fully admitted to making a catastrophic mistake by leaving Brutus in the vehicle unattended.
Sheriff Hunter reviewed the internal investigation report and concurred with the findings. Sheriff Hunter disciplined Deputy Harrison by revoking his K-9 handler status in the future and suspending him from duty without pay for 15 days. Deputy Harrison’s exemplary work record was taken into account during the discipline process and the unpaid suspension was significant and appropriate.
Sheriff Mark Hunter stated, “This situation was a tragic occurrence for the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and for Deputy Harrison and his family. This was an accident and no one feels more remorse than Harrison himself. Brutus was not only a working dog but part of the Harrison family. Deputy Harrison now has to live with his actions but this case has taught us all some important lessons. The agency as a whole, in time, will heal from this event, but the lessons learned will not be forgotten”.
Deputy Randy Harrison will return to his patrol duties once the suspension has been fulfilled