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East Hartford K-9 officer passes away

EAST HARTFORDPolice are mourning the passing of retired K-9 Officer Axel on Sunday.

Axel served with Officer John Zavalick for eight years. The passing was announced on the department’s Facebook page on Tuesday. “Axel was a dedicated, courageous, and decorated officer, and during his eight years of service made many friends in the EHPD and around the community. He will be dearly missed by all of us and by his handler, Officer John Zavalick, with whom he lived after his retirement in 2015. Rest in Peace Axel,” said police.

Over the years, K-9 officers in East Hartford have received many awards for their service. According to the Hartford Courant, Zavalick and Axel placed in the top 10 finalists in the Connecticut K-9 Olympics several times during his tour of duty.