Police dog named for fallen officer
The Daily Reflector
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Greenville Police Department K-9 Sneak isn’t your ordinary four legged tracking machine. He is a walking, woofing tribute to a fallen officer.
Sneak is named in honor of Nash County Deputy and U.S. Marshal's Service Task Force Officer Warren "Sneak" Lewis III.
According to officials from the Greenville Police Department, Lewis was shot and killed in 2011 while he and his partner, Greenville Police Sgt. Tim McInernery, went to a home in Kinston to serve a warrant in connection with a murder investigation.
While the officers searched the home, Lewis was shot and killed.
“On June 9, 2011 we lost an incredible father, husband, son and brother in blue,” McInerney said.
The one-year-old 90 pound German Shepard from Budapest Hungary, will be working with Lewis' former partner, Greenville Police K-9 Handler, William Groseclose.
Groseclose was a Kinston police officer and was on the scene the day Lewis died.
"It’s a day I will never forget,” Groseclose said."It is something that has changed my law enforcement career and even changed my personal life.
"Just knowing that someone lost their life in the line of duty, knowing he had a wife and kids... really, it's an eye opener and something you never forget," Groseclose said.
K-9 Sneak was purchased after Greenville Police Department's longtime lead K-9 handler Tim McLaughlin and his dog, Bono Jr., retired.
It was Groseclose who proposed naming the department's newest officer Sneak.
“When I became a K-9 officer and had the opportunity to get a new dog, I knew I wanted to name him in honor of Sneak,” Groseclose said.
McInerney was overjoyed by the news.
“I feel that my fallen partner would have been honored to see a police K-9 named after him,” McInerney said. “He would view this dog as a symbol of redemption, healing and resolution and would be so proud to know his name carries on to help find and apprehend criminals that endanger our community."
Now K-9 Sneak will put his best paw forward as the legacy of a local hero carries on.
McInerney said Sneak is in good company with his handler, Groseclose.
“I can see no stronger partner to carry on his name. They share the same characteristics: brave, loyal, loving and a natural guardian," McInerney said.
K-9 Sneak has been working with Groseclose for a month and the two are starting to build rapport although it's been slow going.
"These dogs are very very different from personal pet dogs," Groseclose said. "I've had him for over a month now and I'm still trying to build rapport with him.
"He enjoys coming to work with me but he still looks at me going 'No, you still have stuff to prove to me that we're going to work together,'" Groseclose joked.
But the investment of time to build a bond is worth it, he said.
"I'll spend more time with Sneak than I will with my family. I'm going to have to trust him and he's got to trust me. He may have to save my life or another officer's life," Groseclose said.