New Port Richey Police Chief Kim Bogart introduced canine officer “Charlie K” at Tuesday’s council meeting, named in honor of fallen Tarpon Police Officer Charles Kondek. The dog was named by well known funeral director Tom Dobies of Dobies Funeral Home after having donated the dog to the department. Officer Kondek was killed in the line of duty in Tarpon Springs on December 21, 2014.
“Charlie was a man among men. I loved that guy,” Mr. Dobies said after being asked to speak, “My prayers are with the family and his kids. I’ll be doing a scholarship at the high school for the police and fire academy [in his honor].”
Shortly afterward, Chief Bogart and New Port Richey Mayor Rob Marlowe presented Dobies with a key to the city for his faithful support of public safety agencies in the area, including the purchase of the police dog.
Bogart said that Dobies has now donated four police dogs, a SWAT van, and a full gym to the city’s department. Dobies, a Tarpon Springs native, is well known for his support of local police and fire agencies, and has donated generously to both the Tarpon and New Port Richey departments.
Chief Bogart also introduced another police dog named “Shadow” and his partner Officer Aaron Eck on Tuesday night. The pair have recently finished their training program and are now on official duty. Shadow was donated to the department by an anonymous donor on behalf of the donor’s husband who is a dog lover and suffers from dementia, Bogart said.
Charlie K will finish training with his handler, Officer Brian Golembeski, in two months time. Both dogs will join Officer Justin Case and his partner Cuda, bringing New Port Richey’s total canine unit to three officers.