Greece Police Dept Names K-9 After Fallen Firefighter Lt. Michael Chiapperini

May 10, 2013

K-9 Unit dog "Chip" and his handler Officer Jeff Phillips at the Greece Town Hall.
Credit Carlet Cleare / WXXI News

"As of today, Chip is back on patrol."

The Greece Police Department is celebrating the life of fallen West Webster fire fighter Michael Chiapperini.

That's by naming its new K-9 "Chip". Officer Jeff Phillips will be the canine's handler.

Police Chief Todd Baxter says Chiapperini was a dog lover, so the tribute is fitting.

"Let us today carry on the unfinished work and strive in his honor to promote community, security and above all justice," Baxter says. "It is with a deep honor that we the Greece Police Department dedicate this animal, in loving memory, to our friend Mike Chiapperini."

Baxter says they're hope is that the naming honor demonstrates their unwavering support for the Chiapperini family.

Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering says the tribute is "another piece of much needed healing".

Naming K-9 dogs in honor of fallen officers has been a long-time tradition of police departments.

Chiapperini was shot and killed while responding to fire call in Webster on Christmas Eve.

Friday's dedication was held at Greece Town Hall.

Officers presented gifts to the Chiapperini family during the ceremony.