DARIEN — After losing a K-9 last month to cancer, police have replaced their fallen member with a K-9 named after a late Darien officer.

On June 1, K-9 “Kenny” started with handler Officer Leslie Silva in the patrol division as a narcotics detection dog after completing training. Kenny is a 3-and-a-half-year-old yellow Labrador retriever named after Darien police officer Kenneth Bateman, who was killed on duty in 1981.

Kenny replaces K-9 Grizzly, who died last month after several months in service, from a rare form of bone cancer. Kenny was provided free of charge by trainer Frank Reda of “Superior K9 Services” given the previous dog’s unexpected illness.

“Although it was very difficult to lose my previous partner, K-9 Grizzly, I'm excited to be given the opportunity to start a new partnership with K-9 Kenny,” Officer Silva said in a statement. “I am proud to have my K-9 partner named after Officer Kenneth Bateman. This was a great opportunity to honor Officer Bateman and to remind people that he made the ultimate sacrifice to keep this community safe.”

Kenny will also work in other units in the department on special assignments.

ekayata@hearstmediact.com; @erin_kayata