A Policeman’s Best Friend


©2009 Chicago Tribune

Normally if I were to take a portrait of a person and their dog, I would not sit them down in the middle of the street and ask them to turn away from me. Especially if the person is a police officer. In fact, I’m sure he thought it was a bit strange for me to make that request. But the concept was being together on the road of life. In the course of a pay squabble with his department, Bradford signed away his rights to pursue claims for back pay in order to keep “Doc”, a Belgian Malinois, who he felt was being used as a bargaining chip. Typically, police dogs are given to their owners after the dogs are retired from service because it is too hard to retrain them to work with others. For him, not being allowed to keep Doc was too much to bear.  So there was something of a cinematic end to their story.  A loyalty tested and a bond that was saved through sacrifice. I imagine this picture as the closing scene where Bradford turns towards Doc and says, “it’s just you and me, kid….”

Alex Garcia

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