THE sight and sounds of dogs playing at the off-leash dog park in Neptune Street in Maryborough created the perfect background for the more sombre ceremony taking place at the entrance to the play area.
Police, councillors, politicians and residents gathered to witness the official naming of Rambo Dog Park.
The park was named in honour of Police Dog (PD) Rambo who died in the line of duty earlier this year.
PD Rambo and his handler Sergeant Ian Grigoris had been tracking an alleged fugitive when Rambo was struck by a car on the Bruce Highway in the early hours of the morning on 19 June.
PD Rambo was taken to a local vet but he could not be saved.
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Sgt Grigoris said it was a fitting tribute to PD Rambo that the park was named after him.
“After residents of the Neptune Street area contacted Council with the desire to rename the park after PD Rambo, my partner and I came here and just sat and took it all in.
“We observed how long the park is and how much Rambo would have appreciated it. Whenever we took him out of the police car, he would do three or four flybys just to settle down.”
Sgt Grigoris then recounted how PD Rambo had previously helped locate a missing girl at the nearby special school. He said this made the decision to rename the park after his companion even more fitting.
PD Rambo was called in to help find the young girl after police searched for hours without success.
Rambo helped locate the girl behind the lockers at the school and she was returned safely to her parents.
“That was another tick in the box that this park should be named after Rambo.”
Sgt Grigoris thanked everyone who was involved in renaming the park after Rambo.
“It is unbelievable that such a tragic event can bring the community together,” he said.
Messages of condolences were received from as far away as Illinois and Salt Lake City in the US following Rambo’s death.
“It was so overwhelming but a little bit of comfort for me and my family after what had happened,” said an emotional Sgt Grigoris.
Sgt Grigoris said PD Rambo served the Fraser Coast community exceptionally well for almost his entire life.
He received Rambo from Brisbane when the puppy was just eight weeks old.
“Some 18-months later he became a fully-fledged police dog and helped locate many people wanted for serious crimes. He also found missing persons, some of whom suffered with mental health issues or were suicidal.
“Rambo served his community well and did his job.”
Sgt Grigoris and Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour officially unveiled the memorial at the gate to the dog park.
Cr Seymour paid tribute to PD Rambo, saying his life was dedicated to serving the community.
“He served our community with professionalism, diligence and loyalty,” said Cr Seymour.
“Here at Rambo Park we will always remember the way he lived and died – serving our community.
“We are extremely grateful for the service that he gave us.”
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Meanwhile, District Officer Superintendent Mick Sawrey said PD Rambo’s loss was a sad occasion for local police.
However, he said naming the park in honour of him was fitting.
“It was such a sad day back in June but from my perspective today is a good day because we get to permanently remember the contribution of PD Rambo to Wide Bay policing.”
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