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K9 Diesel – Lenexa, Kansas

Died – 1/9/18

Lenexa police announce death of K9 officer who helped with dozens of cases

Lenexa police have lost one of their own. The department tweeted Tuesday morning to announce the death of Diesel, a retired police dog who spent eight years on the force. He was about 11 years old. “If we could describe him with 1 word, it would be INTENSE!” the tweet said. Diesel, a Dutch shepherd, retired in 2015 after a successful career. He helped in 63 drug cases and the seizure of $77,000. He helped track down 35 criminal suspects. In 2008 Diesel received a donated bulletproof vest.And in 2009 Diesel and his handler, Officer Ryan Sumner, finished first in a competition sponsored by the National Police Canine Association. Diesel and Speedy, another Lenexa police K9, outperformed 19 other dog teams in skills such as tracking, obedience, tactical movement and obstacle course navigation. The competition included being confronted by an armed decoy. “It is very true-to-life and puts both the dog and handler in a stressful situation,” Sumner said at the time. “The dog picks up on the handler’s stress and has to perform well in spite of it. Our dogs did so well under that stress, just like they do at home.” The Lenexa Police Department’s K9 unit was formed in 1974. It now has three canines on duty.

Submitted By Jim Cortina

James A. Cortina has been involved with police dogs since 1972 and currently on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Police Work Dog Association Inc. Jim has been appointed as Treasurer since its inception in 1991. Jim is one of the charter members of the C.P.W.D.A. organization. Since 1975 he has been a certified professional dog trainer and received his Master Trainer Certification in 1985. During his career he has provided armed K-9 strike crowd control for security agencies in Connecticut and out of state security companies. In conjunction with other members of the Connecticut Police Work Dog Association Inc. Board of Directors, he helped to draft Connecticut Statute 53-247(e) "Intentional Injury or Killing of Police K-9" which was passed by the Senate in 1993 and also assisted in implementing the prestigious Daniel Wasson Memorial K-9 Award in 1992. In 1993 he helped coordinate the North American Police Work Dog Association Nationals in New London, Connecticut. He was appointed Training Director for the New London County Work Dog Association from 1985-1987. He performed decoy work for Connecticut Police Work Dog Association Inc. in police K-9 demonstrations, trained several local police department canines, and coordinated training workshops for out-of-state police departments. He participated in the United States Police K-9 Association Trials in Croton on Hudson, New York in 1985 as a decoy. He is an avid photographer and received photography awards in 1989, 1990, and 1991 and currently takes photographs for the Connecticut Police Work Dog Association Inc.