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March 17, 2015

A Letter to the Somerset Community

        It is with profound sadness that the Somerset Borough Police Department announces the death of K9 Arny, SPD Badge #94.  Arny passed peacefully yesterday evening with his partner, Officer Brian Harbart and all of the Harbart family at his side as SPD officers maintained a vigil outside of the Somerset Animal Medical Center.  Arny had been diagnosed earlier this year with a very aggressive form of cancer, Hemangioscarcoma, and had been retired from the force to spend his remaining days in the loving care of his family, the Harbarts.
        On behalf of the community the Somerset Borough Police Department wishes to thank the Harbart family for the care, love and loyalty shown to Arny throughout his life and career, but especially for the faithful devotion to him in his end days.  On behalf of the Harbart family and the department we wish to thank the community and all those others for their kindnesses and expressions of support and compassion during these last few months of Arny’s life.  There are so many who through their words and gestures have clearly established that Arny was “Somerset’s Dog” and words cannot express our gratitude and appreciation.  We especially wish to express our gratitude to Dr. Vince Svonavec and the veterinarians and staff of Animal Medical Center for their excellent care of Arny and especially for their compassionate attention to him since his diagnosis.
        That to which I alluded to in an earlier letter has now come to be:  our department has experienced the loss of one we have always considered an officer; our community has lost one who has without a doubt had become the most popular and appreciated member of the Somerset Borough Police Department, one who has contributed as greatly to the department’s mission of protection and service as any other who has worn a badge; the Harbarts have lost a family member, who beyond his great accomplishments as a police K9 gave them comfort, security and loyalty; undoubtedly experiencing the greatest loss is Officer Harbart who is not only experiencing the losses already mentioned, but has also lost his partner.
        At some appropriate time in the near future, Arny’s family, fellow officers and the community will have an opportunity to celebrate his life and contributions to this community.  Until then, we would like to leave you with, The Guardians of the Night
Officer Harbart an
Trust in me my friend for I am your comrade. I will protect you with my last breath
When all others have left you and the loneliness of the night closes in, I will be at your side.
Together we will conquer all obstacles, and search out those who might wish harm to others.

All I ask of you is compassion, the caring touch of your hands. It is for you that I will unselfishly give my life and spend my nights unrested.  Although our days together may be marked by the passing of the seasons know that each day at your side is my reward. My days are measured by the coming and going of your footsteps. I anticipate them at every opening of the door. You are the voice of caring when I am ill.  The voice of authority when I've done wrong.  Do not chastise me unduly for I am your right arm, the sword at your side. I attempt to do only what you bid of me. I seek only to please you and remain in your favor.  Together you and I shall experience a bond only others like us will understand
When outsiders see us together their envy will be measured by their disdain.  I will quietly listen to you and pass no judgment, nor will your spoken words be repeated I will remain ever silent, ever vigilant, ever loyal.

And when our time together is done And you move on in the world remember me with kind thoughts and tales, for a time we were unbeatable, nothing passed among us undetected.  If we should meet again on another street I will gladly take up your fight, I am a Police Working Dog and together we are guardians of the night.

Sincerely,

Randolph G. Cox
Chief of Police

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