BY CAROL MCILMURRAY
Clarkstown’s finest have a new officer prowling the streets, a 14-month-old Dutch Shepherd named “Remy.” Don’t let his shiny coat and his gentle ways fool you, “Remy” will apprehend you if he needs to!
On Saturday morning, Clarkstown PD held a ceremony outside their station in honor of Remy joining the ranks. The parents of 9/11 hero Welles “Remy” Crowther spoke of their beloved son and expressed gratitude toward the Clarkstown PD for naming the Dutch Shepherd after him.
Rockland County Kennel Association gifted Remy to the Clarkstown PD by use of a $12,500 donation to buy Remy from the Netherlands and then train Remy for a month long session at Castle’s K-9 in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania with his handler Officer Robert Reekie. While at school Remy learned narcotics detection, tracking, apprehension, building search and patrol.
The new K-9 officer ‘Remy’ was named after Crowther, who perished in the South Tower on 9/11 while trying to save people trapped in the building. Crowther, tied a red bandana around his head, covering his mouth, likely to keep dust and debris out of his airways.
The young man could be seen by many bystanders carrying and assisting survivors out of the building. He became known as the ‘Man in the Red Bandana.’ Crowther, 24, an equities trader who worked on the 104th floor of the World Trade South and an Upper Nyack resident. He was a volunteer firefighter at Goosetown Empire Hook and Ladder on South Broadway, and that is where he learned his first responder skills and ability to save others. Remy’s selfless spirit now lives on in another Rockland first responder, young “Remy”, a narcotic police dog.
Jefferson, Welles’ father recounted memories of his son’s sense of duty and said, “I know he’s up there smiling down. He loved dogs. He was interested in dogs that work. I think Remy will make him proud.”
Alison Crowther, Welles’ mother, graciously thanked the Rockland County Kennel for thinking of them, “We are very pleased, as we are dog people, we are really very happy about this.” Alison Crowther presented a red bandana with the number 19 written in the center, Welles’ High School athletics number to Officers Reekie and Remy.
Officer Reekie was handpicked as Remy’s handler by Clarkstown PD because he fit a certain temperament, and skill set as to what the department was looking for in this unique 24-hour partnership. Officer Reekie is a 10- year veteran of Clarkstown and served a prior decade with the NYPD.
Officer Reekie’s wife and three young children attended the ceremony. His son Jack said he loves having Remy in the house. According to Jack, “My Dad can’t go anywhere without Remy trying go with him or stop him.”
Remy replaces retired canine, Oz, and joins fellow canine cops, King and Taz. Unlike Remy, King and Taz are both German Shepherds.