For the past four years, anywhere Special Victims Unit Det. Astrel Labbe went, his partner Harley was by his side.
Now that Labbe has been promoted from detective to sergeant, his 4-legged partner is taking off her vest and retiring from the Boynton Beach Police Department. Since September 2016, K9 Harley has served as the department’s therapy dog, assigned to an investigative unit where she was directly involved in providing support to people during difficult, often heartbreaking times in their lives.
During her career, Harley worked more than 150 cases ranging from child abuse and sexual battery to suicide, homicide investigations and human trafficking. The first case she worked alongside her partner was an allegation of child abuse on Sept. 14, 2016. She routinely assisted the Palm Beach County Child Protection Team during highly sensitive forensic interviews, as well as Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office with deposition and trials where children were involved.
K9 Harley is a familiar and beloved face in our community as she routinely visited local schools, hospitals and senior centers, and participated in Coffee with a Cop and every other department event.
“Nothing brought Harley greater joy than putting on her vest and going to work every day, and I was so grateful to be able to take her on as my partner,” Sgt. Labbe said. “It will be a transition for me working in my new position without her by my side watching my every move.”
The Boynton Beach Police Department plans to continue its therapy dog program and will be obtaining another dog from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Paws and Stripes College in the near future.