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K9 Figo – Farmington, Missouri

Died – 6/13/17
Handler – Corporal Brad Williams

Farmington PD mourns loss of canine

A local police department is mourning the loss of a canine officer. On Tuesday, the Farmington Police Department posted on Facebook, “It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of Figo, our brave and valiant K-9. His partner and best friend for the last 8 years is Corporal Brad Williams. Figo, age 10, died after a brief illness.” The post states Figo served both the citizens of Farmington and surrounding communities well “often at great peril but without hesitation as he was trained to do.” Willams and Figo were the subject of a cover story in the Farmington Press in March, 2016.When Figo joined the department in 2009, it was the result of a personal donation made by local businessman Sharo Shirshekan to get Figo for the city and pay for Williams and his partner to be trained. According to Williams, the cost for dog and the training at that time was around $14,000. “He is so amped to come to work with me, but he is actually a really lazy dog when he’s at home,” Williams said at the time. “But when he sees me getting ready for work, he gets very excited.”Their partnership began around seven years ago when the two met at Vohne Liche Kennels in Denver, Indiana. According to Williams at that time, Figo was a 3-year-old dog that was already trained, and it was up to Williams to catch up. “When we purchased Figo, I had to go to Vohne Liche for five weeks to be trained,” Williams said in 2016. “The dog was already fully trained and I didn’t know anything, so they brought Figo down a little bit and then trained us together. Figo made it pretty easy for me.” One thing Williams thought made the training so seamless is the week the two spent together before training began. According to Williams, it allowed the two of them some time to get to know each other. “The week before we started training, Figo and I spent the week together,” Williams said. “We pretty well bonded during that time.” Trained as a dual purpose dog, Figo was able to make apprehensions, track for fugitives or lost children, and detect narcotics such as meth, heroin, marijuana and cocaine. And, the 2016 story noted Figo located narcotics more than 550 times, tracked and apprehended nearly 40 fugitives and made at least that many appearances at schools and special events. Whether the two were on duty or off, they were always together. Figo not only rode with Williams, but lived with him as well. “If we are not at work, Figo is at home with me,” Williams said in 2016. “He loves my kids. I can take him to day cares and let him off the leash. He runs around with all the kids and lets them come up to him and pet him. He has such a great personality.” On Tuesday, the Facebook post stated Figo was “so devoted to Corporal Williams and would have given his life for him,” the post reads. “He will also be missed by Corporal William’s wife and children and the men and women of Farmington PD — most especially those he worked with on night shift. “Join us with prayers for Brad and his family. EOW 06/13/2017. Godspeed Figo

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.