Memorials to Fallen K-9s 

The F.A.S.T. Co. donates sets of memorial cards to all partners 
 I need your help to inform me of such losses.

Dept. addresses available for those who want to
send condolences to officers. See below

In Loving Memory of 
July 7, 2012
Handler: ? 
Macon County, TN

The death of a police K-9 this month in Macon County was likely caused from heat exhaustion, said the local sheriff's department.
 The police dog named "Rock" died in his pen July 7. The sheriff's department said the dog had food and water,but may
 have not been able to cool off during the heat of the day. The dog was buried at the Justice Center.

submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
December 2, 2012

Former Handler: Officer Tim Nading
De Mines Police Department

On Sunday, the Des Moines Register announced the death of a police dog who was highly regarded by
Des Moines, Iowa,  Police Department. Reno, an 11-year-old German shepherd, worked for the
department from 2003 to 2011.

On November 29, the retired K9 died in the arms of his former handler, Officer Tim Nading.

During his working years, Reno was applauded for his heroic service. Back in 2004, the fearless dog was shot two
times in the midst of a pursuit for a suspect wanted on drug charges. That suspect was apprehended and sent to prison.
Though grievously injured in both the spine and leg, he recovered quickly and was back on duty in just four months.
For his efforts, he and his partner were
given a distinguished service award and the canine even received
 an honorary key to the city.  In the years that followed, Reno continued to serve the department and
his efforts were recognized with more awards, including "police dog of the year." 
On the day of his death, Nading recognized that something was terribly wrong with Reno and rushed him
to a veterinary clinic where it was discovered that a soft tissue tumor had ruptured.
Reno died in the arms of the man who had been his partner, handler and friend for much of his life.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

Rest in Peace Reno
Photo credit: 
Des Moines PD Facebook page

In Loving Memory of
2004 - March 19, 2012

Handler:  Officer Joe Rodriguez
Atlantic City Police Dept.
Atlantic City, NJ

LINWOOD —Police officers and their K-9 partners said goodbye to Rosko on Monday as the 81/2-year-old Atlantic City K-9,
 suffering from cancer, was euthanized at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital.

Rosko, who had joined Atlantic City’s K-9 unit in 2005, had a large cancerous mass in his body that had begun
affecting his eating habits and mobility last week.
“K-9 Rosko was not only a good street dog, but brought many smiles to the children and schools that he did
 demonstrations for,” Atlantic City police Officer Joe Rodriguez said of his K-9 partner in a letter.
 “He was a loyal partner, a true professional, but, more importantly, a better friend to all.”
Before Rosko was taken to the hospital at about 3 p.m. Monday, he did one final round of exercises at the
 Atlantic County John “Sonny” Burke K9 Academy with Rodriguez.

When Rodriguez took Rosko to be euthanized, both were greeted with a full salute from officers
and their K-9 partners from around South Jersey. Officers represented departments from Atlantic City,
 Egg Harbor Township, Evesham Township, Hazlet Township, Linwood, Logan Township, Millville, Northfield,
 Ocean City, Somers Point, Stafford Township and West Deptford.Atlantic City Officer Frank Timek,
 who is president of the state’s U.S. Police Canine Association, said he was not surprised by the turnout.
“Joey’s doing something everyone has to go through,” Timek said of Rodriguez. “It’s really hard,
people don’t understand it.”
Rosko was Rogriguez’s third K-9 partner in his nearly two-decade career.
Timek said K-9 handlers not only train with their dogs, but also take care of them at home.
 The hours they spend together make them a team, logging almost endless hours together.
“Essentially you’re spending more time with the dog than your family,” he said.
Rosko was imported from the Czech Republic and attended the K-9 academy in 2005.
“I knew from first glance that he would be my partner and if I could gain his loyalty, we could accomplish
 great things,” Rodriguez said. Some of those great things included capturing Christopher Blank in 2006
after Blank shot two Egg Harbor Township officers when he fled from a motor vehicle stop.

Contact Caitlin Dineen: 

From ABC New York and the Associate Press: Ailing Hero K-9 Gets NJ Police Salute Before Death

Officers and their K-9s from a dozen southern New Jersey departments gave the cancer-stricken Rosko a full salute
 Monday as he arrived at a veterinary hospital in Linwood to be euthanized.

Photo: K-9 officers stand at attention with their dogs as the Atlantic City Police Department car carrying Rosko
 arrives at the Red Bank Veterinary Clinic in Linwood, N.J., Monday March 19. ACPD K-9 dog Rosko was put
to sleep Monday afternoon at the clinic. The sad event drew police dogs and trainers from all over
New Jersey. Rosko was suffering from cancer.  Ailing Rosko the K-9 got a farewell befitting a police dog who
once captured a man who shot two policemen.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
November 5, 2012

Handler: Patrolman Keith Lewis
O'Fallon Police Department

285 No. Seven Hills Rd.

O'Fallon, IL  62269

O'Fallon Police K-9 officer Tom Thompson (left) and Keith Lewis laugh as Lewis is presented with
 some photos of Rex during the funeral for Lewis' retired O'Fallon police dog Rex Monday at the
East/West Police K-9 training area in Sauget. The training area also has a cemetery where
about twenty fellow police dogs are buried. STEVE NAGY —

Read more here:

Former O'Fallon police dog Rex goes to final resting place

His nickname was "Fluffy," but if former O'Fallon police dog Rex was on your trail, you were running from one of the best.
On Monday local K-9 officers and O'Fallon Police Department officers followed Rex to pay their respects at his
 final resting place at the East-West Police K-9 training grounds and cemetery in Sauget. Shedding tears
 and getting hugs from his fellow officers, Rex's hander, O'Fallon Police patrolman Keith Lewis, spoke during the
funeral for Rex and later spoke of how special Rex was."He was a phenomenal dog. Amazing.
He saved my life at least two times," Lewis said.

Once Lewis was being attacked by a man with multiple knives, but Rex took him down. Another time Lewis and Rex
 were pursuing a man who had eluded Lewis, but Rex found the man hiding in a pile of leaves with a rifle
and night-vision goggles. "That dog saves our life. We save the dog's life. It's a team. These dogs give us everything
 they've got," said O'Fallon Police K-9 officer Tom Thompson, who spoke during the service. Rex was on the
job with Lewis in O'Fallon from 2001 to 2009. In addition to serving the community, the German long-haired
shepherd won multiple regional and national awards.

Rex finished seventh in the national rankings at the 2002 United States Police Canine Association trials and also won
 top regional honors in 2004, 2005 and 2007. "He wasn't going against a bunch of slobs. They were a damn good
bunch of dogs. And Rex smoked 'em. This is one hell of a good dog," said Caseyville Police Sgt. Frank Moore,
 who is involved with the East-West Police K-9 group. Rex retired in 2009 and stayed with Lewis and his family.
 Lewis also retired from being a K-9 officer, partly because being a K-9 officer is very demanding.

Lewis remains a patrolman and still trains and certifies police dogs. "These dogs work hard and they get knocked
 around," Lewis said. Rex had been suffering with his issues from herniated disks as well as a
degenerative neurological disorder which necessitated that the 12-year-old be put to sleep early Monday morning.
 His final resting place in Sauget is with other police dogs, within sight of where future generations
 of police dogs will train.

submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

September 8, 2012

Handler: Sgt. Don Cinque 
Utica Police Department
413 Oriskany Street
West Utica, NY 13502
Dog from Utica Police Department's K-9 Unit dies
The Utica Police Department announced Saturday the death of Rock, a member of the police's K-9 unit. Rock,
who served the department for more than seven years, is pictured with his partner Sgt. Don Cinque.

A police dog in the Utica Police Department’s K-9 Unit who served for more than seven years died,
city police announced Saturday. Rock worked with Sgt. Don Cinque and averaged about 120 calls a year,
 apprehending dozens of suspects, with a rough total of 840 calls during Rock’s partnership with Cinque.
 Rock retired from service on Sept. 22, 2011.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

September 6, 2012

Handler: Deputy Scott Gittings
Hancock County Sheriff's Department
200 West Crawford Street
West Virginia

Remembering Rudie - Memorial service planned for K-9

Hancock County sheriff’s Deputy Scott Gittings, with his K-9, Rudie, who died this week.
A memorial service for the police dog will be held at noon Monday in Courtroom 1 of the Hancock County Courthouse.

In police vernacular, they're known as K-9 units. But they're really just dogs with the added
distinction of being a cop's best friend. This week, the Hancock County Sheriff's Department lost one of its
most valued enforcement dogs in the death of Rudie, a K-9 that had been assigned to Deputy Scott Gittings.
 Rudie, a Belgian Malinois that had served the sheriff's department since 2003, was taken out of active
 service earlier this year and was living with Gittings and his family. "He's pretty upset because that was
his buddy," Sheriff Mike White said. Rudie was one of four dogs in the sheriff's department's K-9 unit,
but his advancing years forced his retirement. He was 11 years old.

"He was starting to get real slow. He was having trouble walking and moving around," White said.
"We just took him out of service because ... he wasn't performing the way he normally did."
White said a veterinarian was consulted and determined that nothing could be done. "He was so sick
that they had to put him down," he said. Rudie came to the sheriff's department through
Enforcement Canine Inc., formerly Beck's Canine Service, of Wilmington, N.C., a company that
 trains and provides K-9s for law enforcement agencies across the country, White said. Enforcement Canine
 gets its dogs from Europe and trains them in the United States. White said Rudie was born in Holland.

The dog received about two years' training before being selected by the sheriff's department, White said.
 A lot of training and money goes into each enforcement dog. White said the sheriff's department spent
 about $13,000 on Rudie, including the sale price and training. Deputies are required to do about
 six weeks of training with the dog, he said. "Not all dogs make the grade to be K-9 dogs. There was a
lot of time and effort put into it," White said. "The owners of the company hand-selected the dogs, and
the selections were pretty top-notch."

Beligian Malinois, although smaller than German shepherds, are known for their excellent sense of smell,
 their tenacity and their speed, White said. The sheriff's department used Rudie in all aspects of law
 enforcement, including patrol work, drug enforcement, searches, building clearances and demonstrations
 for children, White said. "Kids got a big kick out of him. He did a lot of stuff for us," he said.
 "People don't realize how much they do for the officer and the sheriff's department." K-9 dogs are
especially useful in the apprehension of fugitive criminals. Oftentimes, suspects are more willing to surrender
 when they know that a K-9 dog is on their trail, White said. "There's a big safety factor that's
created by the use of the K-9. They can sound pretty fierce and bark pretty loud," he said. "Sometimes,
 all it takes is for the dog to bark, and the guy will come out. It's less dangerous for our deputies."
A memorial service for Rudie will be held at noon Monday in Courtroom 1 of the Hancock County Courthouse.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA


Deputy Scott Gittings,  K9 Rudie honored at memorial
Hancock County sheriff’s Sgt. Chuck Stanley addresses the memorial service held Monday for the K-9 dog Rudie, who died on Friday.
 At right is Deputy Scott Little, a K-9 handler with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department.

The Hancock County police dog Rudie was remembered Monday as a K-9 who would lay his life down for his handler.
 A "hyper" dog who worked hard to catch bad guys and was loyal to the end. The longtime K-9 partner of
Hancock County sheriff's Deputy Scott Gittings, Rudie died on Friday after a veterinarian
 department, not just a pet," Sheriff Mike White said. "He served us well, and we'll keep him in our memories." 
 Members of Hancock County's law enforcement community filled Courtroom 1 of the Hancock County
 Courthouse on Monday for an emotional memorial service in Rudie's honor. Officers wore black tape on
 their badges, just as they do when a fellow officer dies in the line of duty.

White said Rudie was an effective police dog who was instrumental in several drug seizures and felony arrests
 over the years. Rudie and Gittings became partners in September 2001. Rudie completed his training in 2003,
but Gittings said Monday that when it comes to police dogs "you train almost constantly."
A Belgian Malinois, Rudie served the sheriff's department as one of four K-9 dogs involved with patrol,
 tracking and narcotics work, White said. Over the course of his career, he helped in the recovery of
 "hundreds of thousands of dollars" in illegal drugs and in the apprehension of felons, he said.

In one case, Rudie's keen sense of smell resulted in the recovery of $75,000 in cash and a kilo of
cocaine from a storage unit in Calcutta, Gittings said. Another time, Rudie's tenacity directed deputies
to 10 grams of crystal methamphetamine hidden in a trailer hitch, he said. "We were on the road together
 for almost 10 years," Gittings said. " 'Rewarding' is the best word I can use to describe it."
Sheriff's Deputy Scott Little and Sgt. Chuck Stanley, both K-9 handlers for the department, got choked
 up as they talked about Rudie during the service. "Working with a K-9, let's face it-it's not easy.
 But it's worth it," said Little, who is handler for a German shepherd named Christina.

Stanley remembered Rudie as a "hard hitting" dog who didn't like to have his picture taken.
"Rudie started out hyper, but he was able to get more laid back," he said. "Over time ... it worked
 out great for him. (He and Gittings) bonded really well." Rudie was retired in March because of diminishing
abilities brought on by illness and old age. He was replaced by a German shepherd named Odin, whose
handler is Deputy Eric Cline. Other K-9s in the department are Jessie, a German shepherd paired with Stanley,
 and Freddie, a German shepherd paired with Deputy Pat Hoder. Stanley said the sheriff's department has
 four K-9 units so that one is on duty for each shift. The dogs come from the Czech Republic,
Germany and Holland, which is where Rudie was born.

"Our dogs are very brave," Stanley said. "To send them out into the unknown, it's a hard thing to do."
Little credited Rudie with saving Gittings' life at least once, and White and Stanley praised the dog
 for his service to the public. "It's hard to know how many lives he touched," Stanley said. Speaking
 to the assembly at the beginning of the service, the Rev. Scott Ashley, associate pastor of New
 Cumberland Family Life Center, read the poem "Guardians of the Night" and quoted from John 15:13:
"No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." <>
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
September 3, 2012

Handler: Sgt. Jimmy Sanders

Lee County  Sheriff Department
1900 Frederick Road
Opelika, AL 36801
Police dog dies after undergoing surgery

Authorities say Rico, a Lee County police dog trained in sniffing out explosives, has died. Lee County sheriff's
 Capt. Van Jackson says the Belgian Malinois became ill late last month and was taken to a veterinarian.
 Rico underwent surgery, but was unable to recover and died Monday afternoon. Rico was 8 years old and had worked
with Sgt. Jimmy Sanders since 2006. The dog joined the sheriff's office after Opelika City Schools received a
 grant that provided the funds needed to buy Rico and train both him and Sanders.
The sheriff's office now has three K-9 dogs: Mike, Smoke and Eve.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
August 15, 2012

Smyrna Police Lt. Earl Barnes removes the collage of photograph police dog Officer Rowban from the casket before the dog is lowered into the ground, on Wednesday, August 15, 2012. HELEN COMER/DNJ

Handler: Lt. Earl Barnes
Smyrna Police Department
400 Enon Springs Road East  Smyrna, TN 37167
(615) 459-6644 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 
(615) 459-6644

Smyrna, TN

Smyrna pays tribute to trusted police K9
Handler gets new puppy after loss

Smyrna Police officers carry the body of Smyrna police dog Officer Rowban to his grave Wednesday,
August 15, 2012.   Lt. Earl Barnes carries a photo collage of Rowban and a flag to be placed over his casket.
 Many police officers, dogs and handlers were in attendance.

Colleagues, family and friends of Smyrna Police K-9 Rowban said their final goodbyes to the faithful public servant
Wednesday at a burial ceremony held for him in the Smyrna K-9 cemetery on Enon Springs Road. The 9-year
veteran of the SPD had to be put down at Southern Veterinary Center on Monday, following a brief but painful
struggle with an aggressive form of cancer, said his handler, Officer Gary Schoon. Rowban had been strictly a
 narcotics sniffer at the department prior to developing the health issues about a month ago, Schoon said.
 In 2010 alone, he was responsible for the recovery of marijuana, cocaine, psilocybin mushrooms,
and over $45,000 in cash.

Addressing a crowd of more than 60 people gathered for the burial, Smyrna Police Chaplain Leonard Rader
 talked about the importance of K9 officers, and about how Rowban likely never saw the service he was giving
to the people of Smyrna as “work.” “He likely just saw everyday as another opportunity to spend some time with
 his best friend,” Rader said, referring to Rowban’s strong relationship with Schoon. Schoon, at the conclusion
of the service, said the ceremony for Rowban was fitting and thanked everyone for showing their support.

“I don’t know that before I would have understood all this,” he said. “You can’t imagine the feeling of
appreciation you get from seeing all these people coming out to honor him. Half of the people here I don’t even
 know.” The service was capped off with a presentation of a new German shepherd puppy to Schoon and his family,
 which will spend its first year of life at home with the Schoon family. It’s only at age 1 that the puppy,
which Schoon named Sig, will then be tested to see if he can become Schoon’s next service dog. “If he goes on
 to be a police dog, he has great genes,” he said. “You can’t even really test the dog to see if he has the right
 drive until he’s about 1 year old. Right now, we’ll definitely let the kids spoil him a bit and let him be a puppy
for right now. It really helps out the family.”

by: HELEN COMER/DNJ   submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
August 2012

Handler:  Cpl. Trent Colledge
Orem Police Department
95 E Center St  
Orem, UT 84057
(801) 229-7070 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 
(801) 229-7070

Orem police dog dies, dept. seeks donations for replacement
Soon an Orem suspicious car was pulled over, and Orem Cpl. Trent Colledge responded to the scene with his partner,
a Belgian Malinois named Rudy. 
"While the vehicle was lawfully stopped I ran him around the car,"
Colledge said of the German Shepherd-esque dog. "Then in the trunk were three large barrels of marijuana.
"Police eventually seized 67 pounds of marijuana from the car. The drugs were worth about $440,000
 on the street. It was Rudy's biggest drug bust ever, Colledge recalled, though the K9 unit also
 was responsible for taking many pounds of methamphetamine and other substances off the streets.

As the drug busts make clear, Rudy was an integral part of the Orem Department of Public Safety,
as well as other Utah County law enforcement units where he periodically assisted.  Earlier this year, however,
 Rudy's career as a police dog was cut short when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
 According to Orem Sgt. Craig Martinez, doctors found a large tumor on Rudy's liver,
 and ultimately the decision was made to put him down to end his suffering.

The loss means Colledge is suddenly without a partner, which he described as a more emotional turn
of events than he had anticipated. Colledge and Rudy began working together five years ago.
Over the years they interacted daily and became close.  Rudy's death also means Colledge's family
 lost a loved pet. In order to fortify their relationship, K9 handlers and dogs live together.
 In this case, Rudy became a kind of family pet and Colledge's 11-month-old son still looks for
 Rudy in the backyard. He also did regular training with the dog. "It's an ongoing, constant
thing," he added. The goal was to make Rudy, like all police dogs, as effective as possible.
Rudy was a dual purpose dog, having been trained to sniff for drugs and subdue potentially dangerous criminals.
"These dogs are used every day to keep people safe, to locate drugs, to get bad guys off the street," he said.
Martinez added that Rudy assisted departments in Provo, Pleasant Grove, Lindon and elsewhere.
"In just one shift they'll generally handle a dozen or more calls," Martinez said.
And Rudy was
 effective. According to Colledge most suspects, including one man who led officers on a chase
before ramming another vehicle, surrendered when they realized the police had a dog.

The loss of the K9 unit has much broader implications for the Orem Department of Public Safety.
 Because Rudy's cancer was unexpected, Orem didn't budget to get a new dog this year.
 That means the department doesn't have the funds to replace him.
 Martinez said a new dog can cost a department close to $11,000 because they typically come from Europe.
"They go through several years of training before they can be purchased by police departments," Martinez said.

Though Rudy was not the only dog used by Orem police, Martinez pointed out that a reduced
force means a reduced ability to catch criminals and keep the public safe. As a result, the
 department is reaching to the public for help and donations. Martinez said the Orem Department
of Public Safety will accept donations of any amount.

To learn more or make a donation, visit
 Donations also can be made in person or by mail at the
Orem Police Department,
 95 East Center St.
Orem, UT, 84057

In Loving Memory of
August 13, 2012

Officer Gary Schoon
Smyrna Police Department

120 Enon Springs Rd. E.
Smyrna, TN  37167


Smyrna Police mourn loss of K-9
Smyrna K-9 Officer Rowban has passed away, Police Chief Kevin Arnold announced this morning. "Rowban,
 a nine year veteran of this department, lost his life to cancer yesterday,," Arnold stated in a news release.
Rowban was a very productive K-9 and in 2010 alone was responsible for the recovery of marijuana, cocaine,
psilocybin mushrooms, and more than $45,000 in cash, according to the news release. Rowban participated in
 numerous school presentations and the Fire and Police Youth Academy. "Rowban will be sorely missed by
the members of the Smyrna Police Department, his handler Officer Gary Schoon, and especially
Officer Schoon’s family," Arnold said. "K-9 Officer Rowban will be laid to rest on Wednesday at
Smyrna Police Department’s K-9 Cemetery. The Smyrna Police Department would especially like to thank
Woodfin Funeral Chapels and Cripple Creek Caskets for their donation of a casket and the
 Smyrna Fire Department and the Smyrna Street Department for their assistance in the burial."
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
August, 2012

Handler: Johnny Rodriguez
Police Dept.

Ongoing training required for K-9 Unit success At the obstacle course, veteran K-9 Officer Johnny Rodriguez
guides the work of the 18-month-old German Shepherd named Raven, just two months on the job.
Rodriguez explains that K-9 training is designed to allow certification for patrol duty and for drug detection,
 setting the stage for a wide variety of law enforcement activities.
“We look for how fast they retrieve their rewards (tennis balls, etc.) and we do have courage tests
to entice them to show aggression. But, they still must be social.”
On this evening, the obstacle course is also being used by Officer Derreck Bachner and K-9 DiOgi, Officer Paul Alfrey

and K-9 Faro, and Officer Greg Hughes and K-9 Dex. “The training is very physical,” Bachner explains.

 “It builds agility, confidence, and strength.” The dogs must negotiate obstacles that simulate walls, window
openings, and sections of pipe, learning to complete assigned tasks without hesitation. Indoor training at local
businesses prepares the dogs for building searches.  “The members of the public only see the finished product,
 the polished dog,” Rodriguez says of the training  process that starts when an officer is
 paired with a ‘green dog’ that arrives in Melbourne with only basic obedience training.
“The training just doesn’t ever end,” says Rodriguez. Rather, training extends over the five years
that a K-9 normally serves before retirement, usually at the home of the officer who has been the dog’s
 companion both on the job and off.
U.S. Postage PAID
Melbourne, FL
Permit No. 99
Alfrey explains that the effectiveness of the K-9 program hinges on the performance of officer and dog together.
“The bonding is part of being a functional team,” he said. The four teams allow for 24-hour coverage of
the police department shifts. The demand for the K-9 teams to perform their main jobs -- tracking people
and discovering drugs -- is constant.
At times, the K-9 officers say, the very presence of a police dog at an arrest scene can prevent confrontations.
 “Nine out of ten times, when a suspect hears the dog barking he will get up and turn himself in,”
notes Bachner. In other situations, the K-9 takes the point
position in searches that can be hazardous,
particularly at night. “The dog can complete the search better and faster, and it adds to the
safety of the officers,” Bachner said.

 I'm sorry to have to bring bad news to you but my best friend, Johnny Rodriguez lost his retired K9 this evening. Rukkus
 died while Johnny was at a school all day. Johnny's family is out of state and no one was home when Rukkus died.
 He is devastated that his partner died and he couldn't be with him.
> Johnny asked me about the nice cards you had made up for my Ciro and Roscoe. He wants' to know if you still do that,
and if you'll put his Rukkus on your site.  I told him that I would email you and ask. Johnny wants me to
 help him write a piece for Rukkus before he's put on the site.
It will probably be a few days before he's able to sit down with me  and work on the eulogy. 
 I know in the past that you said making cards was getting expensive so if there's a cost involved,
 I'll cover it for my friend. > Let me know. Thanks

submitted by: Howard
reply:  I stopped doing cards because I was getting notifications of 5 a day ... time and $ ... hubby isn't working.  lu

In Loving Memory of
July 25, 2012

Handler: Officer Gregg Tawney
Elk Grove Police Department
8400 Laguna Palms Way
Elk Grove, California 95758 


Elk Grove Police K-9 Dies of Apparent Heart Attack

Rombo worked as an Elk Grove Police Department K-9 for six years

Rombo, one of the Elk Grove Police Department's K-9s, died at 12:10 p.m. Wednesday of an "apparent heart attack,"
the department said on its Facebook page.

"He was the best natured dog I have ever had the pleasure to know and work and he will be sorely
missed," Officer Gregg Tawney, Rombo's handler, wrote.

The dog was born in the Netherlands, and earned honors while training with the Dutch police, Tawney wrote.
 Rombo has worked in Elk Grove for six years, and has found several suspects, won awards and placed in the
top three in a K-9 competition with 50 dogs. "In addition, Rombo, a favorite among kids, had completed
hundreds of demos which usually ended with all the kids petting him and laughing at his
silly dog tricks," Tawney wrote. Rombo would have turned 9 years old next month.

submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
July 23, 2012


Handler: Detective Mike Luciani  

Hopatcong Police Department

111 River Styx Rd
Hopatcong, New Jersey 07843


Hopatcong Police Dog Dies Suddenly


Hopatcong Police Detective Mike Luciani and his dog, Rosco.

Hopatcong police bloodhound Rosco died early Monday morning, Chief Robert Brennan said. Michael Luciani couldn't
immediately be reached for comment. "I was shocked," Brennan said. "He was a member of our family.
And, more importantly, he was a member of Mike's family. He wasn't just a dog." Rosco, who spent
most of his life as a borough human-tracking dog,
survived a life-threatening illness and surgery in November.
 Brennan said Rosco's death was considered "just kind of sudden." A Hopatcong Eagle Scout recently
built a dog house for Rosco at the police department. Information regarding a memorial for the dog wasn't
immediately known. Brennan said Rosco's human-searching skills made him invaluable.

"It was nice to have the ability to find someone," Brennan said. "And then he branched out from there. He was able
 to help out on burglaries. Really, anything. But being able to find a person—that alone, he earned his
 keep in that alone." Rosco was one of just three human-tracking dogs in Sussex County. In 2008,
Rosco tracked down an elderly woman who had been missing for three days in Stokes State Forest in Branchville.
Brennan said Luciani and Rosco had a special relationship. "It was almost like his child because Rosco was
 with him a lot," Brennan said. "He was in the car with him. It was kind of nice. The kids and the people
 just love that dog and loved seeing that dog around. It was just a good-natured dog.

There wasn't anybody that didn't love him. "You could walk down the street with Santa, the Easter Bunny
and Rosco, and the kids would run to Rosco." Hopatcong honored Rosco with a
box of treats and a
"You Make a Difference" award
in January. "He has faithfully performed all the duties asked of him
 and he's brought pride to the borough by assisting in solving cases," Mayor Sylvia Petillo said at the time.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of


Handler: Officer James Heebner  

Pohatcong Township police

50 Municipal Drive

Phillipsburg, NJ 08865



Warren County loses veteran bomb-detecting K-9, Rocky

Pohatcong Township police Officer James Heebner with his former K-9 partner, Rocky. The 11-year-old bomb-sniffing
German Shepherd suffered from severe arthritis, and Heebner made the difficult decision to euthanize Rocky

And for eight years, the Warren County-based canine hunted for potential explosives throughout the state, a job
he was prepared to jump back into even in his final days. The 11-year-old German Shepherd's handler made the
 tough decision last week to have his long-time partner, who suffered from severe arthritis, euthanized. "I'm crushed,"
said Rocky's handler
Pohatcong Township police Officer James Heebner. "It's probably one of the toughest decisions
 I've ever had to make. He wasn't just my partner, he was part of the family."

Heebner and Rocky became a team in 2003 as part of the New Jersey Detect and Render Safe Task Force
organized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
At the time, the county received a $57,000 counterterrorism grant to pay for the dog, a K-9 police vehicle
and other supplies. "He was a well-respected dog. We were a team," Heebner said. "I'd put him up against
any dog for explosives." Pohatcong Township no longer employs a K-9 unit, but acting Chief Jeffrey Greenemeir
said this may change once construction of the municipal building is complete.

Three Warren County police departments currently have K-9 officers, including Washington Township,
Independence Township
and Phillipsburg. Rocky was the only dog in the county trained to detect explosives,
Greenemeir said. He also served Hunterdon County, which has one K-9 officer in
Readington Township.
New Jersey State police bomb detecting K-9 units respond to incidents in both counties. Warren County
Prosecutor Richard Burke said there are no plans in place to bring additional bomb dogs to the county, but
said his office may be bringing in a narcotics dog.

Rocky could detect 18 different types of explosives, Heebner said. Trained to react calmly if he found something,
 Rocky would sit and stare intently at an area where the odor was strongest. Heebner said that he and
Rocky relied on each other like partners. "The most rewarding part of this job is when you have a partner
that would give his life for you," Heebner said. Throughout his career, Rocky responded to thousands of
 local and regional calls. He patrolled the 2004 Republican National Convention in Newark, as well as the 9/11
 dedication ceremony at Liberty State Park in 2006 attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Heebner said.

Rocky repeatedly searched the halls of Phillipsburg High School, the inside and outside of Phillipsburg Mall
and various township grocery and department stores. If a threat was made, Rocky was there and his partner
 could trust if the canine didn't smell any explosives. "It's instilled in you at the academy to trust your dog,"
Heebner said. Though Rocky retired in October, he was always ready to work. "Big German Shepherd. Kooky,
 though, when it was time to work," Greenemeir said. "He'd just go crazy." Working was innate for Rocky,
to the point that as ring bearer at Heebner's wedding, Rocky sniffed his way down the aisle to make sure all
was clear, Heebner said. Rocky loved people, and the feeling was mutual, especially for the Heebner family.
 "He was a good dog, a big lover," Heebner said. "The best dog you could ever want."
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

June, 2012


Handler: Trooper Steve Hills  

Maine State Police Department


Award-winning police dog Ruger remembered by Waldo County authorities

Ruger always got his man. That’s how law enforcement officials around Waldo County remembered the black-and-tan
 German shepherd that died in June after working for nine years as a police K-9, sniffing out drugs, criminals and lost
 people around the state. “Ruger was a great dog,” Waldo County Deputy District Attorney Eric Walker said last week.
 “He worked around here for so long. He had a great reputation. He’s going to be missed.” Ruger went on a
thousand calls during his career with Maine State Police Trooper Steve Hills of Belfast. He retired in December of
 2010, which is a long run for a police K-9, Hills said.

Ruger and Hills were named the state’s K-9 team of the year in 2004 and 2005. Ruger did not die in the line of duty.
He was put to sleep on June 20 after suffering serious health problems. “On his last day, I picked him up in
 the cruiser,” Hills said. It was always Ruger’s favorite place to be — but during his retirement months, his usual
place behind the trooper was taken by a new K-9, Lola. “It broke me up. He finally got his way, that one last time,”
 the trooper said, sorrow apparent in his voice. “But he wasn’t going to come home.” Police dogs play a special role
 in Maine law enforcement.

Like their handlers, they get called out at all hours of the day and night for all types of incidents. They go through
 rigorous training, with a 12-week patrol school at the beginning of their careers and then with 16 hours of
training each and every month thereafter. Ruger and Hills also completed an eight-week narcotic school program
early in Ruger’s career, making him one of the first drug-sniffing dogs in the state. “K-9s are obviously
hugely important,” Walker said. “When someone runs from police into the woods, or there’s a situation with a
lost person in the woods, that can make all the difference in some cases between life and death.

It is an incredibly useful tool for law enforcement.” But police K-9s are not always on the clock. Ruger was Hills’
 K-9 partner and he was also the family pet. “He was a great pet. Great with my family,” the trooper said.
 “Every single night, he would go into each bedroom and check on the kids.” When Hills picked up Ruger in 2002,
 he was already a full-grown adult dog, full of energy and with a stubborn streak. “He and I would butt
heads sometimes,” Hills said. “Sometimes that’s what makes a good police dog — dogs with a mind of their
own. He was a thinker.”

One example of Ruger’s independent ways was the time when he and Hills received a complaint of a stolen vehicle
 in Northport. As Hills was chasing down the car on a dark, foggy night, he noticed movement coming from
the stolen vehicle. After the driver was caught, he said that he had thrown a brick of heroin out the window,
 and Hills gave Ruger a perimeter to search for the illicit drugs. “Ruger wouldn’t stay in that boundary.
 He kept  trying to take off,” Hills remembered. “He didn’t want to do what I wanted him to do.
But what Ruger was trying to tell me was that it wasn’t a brick of heroin. It was a person who had
jumped out of the car and run away.”

He said that he learned from that experience, and others like it. Another memorable call that did involve
 illicit drugs came when Ruger was in Augusta, searching a car impounded from a suspected drug dealer
by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. Officers had hand-searched the vehicle without finding anything.
 Ruger “alerted,” pointing to a spot on the driver’s side of the vehicle. Police searched again and found nothing.
 They figured that the dog might have been confused by the scent of residual drugs that were no longer in the car.

But Ruger was adamant. Something was there. Eventually, the German shepherd grabbed hold of the rug
on the driver’s side and started to growl. Officers found a hidden compartment in the rocker panel
where $25,000 worth of drugs and a handgun were squirreled away. The drug dealer would have gotten his
 car back eventually if it hadn’t been for Ruger, Hills said. Another incident that Hills recalled brought tears
 to his eyes. A few years ago, he and Ruger were called to find a suicidal man who had taken an overdose of
prescription drugs and wandered into the woods. “When I got there, the ambulance personnel estimated that
we had about an hour,” he said.

He and Ruger began to track a scent — but another officer had been searching in the woods and Hills
suspected that the dog was actually tracking the wrong person. The clock was ticking. “This is urgent.
We’re afraid this man’s going to die,” Hills said. At one point during the search, Ruger’s head had snapped
 in a different direction, and Hills made note of their location. Later, they returned to the place where
his head had snapped and Ruger found another track to follow. “We found the man. He was up against a tree,
crying and still taking pills,” Hills said. “The man was saved. And one of his family members said, ‘Thank you.

There will be a special place in heaven for you and your dog.’” Hills said that he didn’t want to make it seem
 like Ruger was a perfect police dog. “He did his job,” he said. “I don’t want it to come across like I’m boasting.”
But Ruger loved his job as a police K-9. He retired twice — the first time in 2009, after which he quickly was
brought back to duty because his replacement washed out of K-9 school. “He was so excited to come back to
 work. He was like a kid,” Hills said. “Ruger was a good dog, and I loved him.”
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

July 18, 2012

Handler: Officer Daniel Gumm
Wichita Police Department

455 N. Main
Wichita, KS 67202


Retired Wichita police dog dies; another one joins the force

 K-9 Ruckus was put down earlier this week after a large lesion on his lungs and fusions of his spine were discovered.
 Former WPD K-9 Ruckus was put down earlier this week after a large lesion on his lungs and fusions of his spine were
Retired Wichita police dog Ruckus was put down this week after a large lesion on his lungs and fusions on his spine
were discovered, department officials said. Ruckus served with Officer Daniel Gumm for three and a half years
at Wichita Police Department’s Patrol West. “Most of the Belgian Malinois dogs are really high-energy dogs,” Gumm said.
“He was really mellow and laid back. He always knew what was going on.” Ruckus was a narcotics K-9 and
 trained in handler protection. His main duties included sniffing vehicles, houses and mail. Gumm said there
was one instance where a suspect looked like he was starting to run and just the sight of Ruckus caused the
man to lie on the ground and be apprehended.

“He had a great nose for narcotics, very dependable,” Gumm said. “They were all dependable, but I’m partial
 to him because he was mine. Some of them can be hard-headed, but he wasn’t ever really that way.” Ruckus
retired 10 weeks before his death. Gumm said the K-9 program is switching to patrol dogs, which would
include apprehending and tracking. After Ruckus retired, Gumm received a new dog named Rooster. “It’s
different going from a dog that’s almost 7 years old and knows the game and knows what’s going on to one
that’s about 14 weeks old and still a pup,” Gumm said. “He’s got a lot of energy.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
June 20, 2012

Handler: Deputy Eric Briehof
Sullivan County Sheriff's Office
New York

Sheriff's Department Utilizes K-9 Partner

By Jeanne Sager
MONTICELLO — August 3, 2007 — Bad guys beware: the newest addition to the Sullivan County Sheriff’s patrol unit has a real nose for the job.
For the first time in almost two decades, the Sheriff’s office has a K-9 unit driving the roads of Sullivan County.
Sheriff Michael Schiff, one-time canine handler for the New York State Police, secured a grant from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services to bring back a program ended in 1988.  Deputy Eric Briehof, a three-year member of the force, hit the road with his four-legged partner last month.  In just four weeks on the job, they’ve handled 10 K-9-specific calls, Briehof said, from the first day when they arrested three suspected crooks at a burglary in progress.
The Jeffersonville resident has been in law enforcement for four years, and he’s wanted the K-9 spot from the moment he put on a uniform.
When Schiff announced a new opportunity within the department, Briehof applied and went through the interview process.
“There was a lot of interest,” Schiff said. “But Eric came out on top as the best all-around candidate.”
The department sent Briehof to an intensive training course in Orange County with his new partner, a German Shepherd brought in fresh from a breeder in the Czech Republic.  The two met just days before their classes began – Briehof was allowed to stop in when the company that vets police dogs checked out the pups sent over from Europe.
Along with RC – named as police force tradition dictates after a fallen officer (Rob Chemerys died in the early 1980s) – Briehof spent four months learning a new kind of police work.  RC, now 17 months, spends almost 24 hours a day with his master.
He lives in the Briehof home with the deputy, his wife and four children.
The family was part of the interview process for the Sheriff’s new dog handler.
“They needed to be ready to take on the responsibility of having that dog live with them,” Schiff explained.
“Now, if you want to take that dog away from that family, you’d have to come armed,” he added with a laugh. “They love that dog.”
“They lay on top of him, they pull his ears, they love him,” Briehof said of his kids.
RC plays with the Briehofs’ other dog and puts up with the family cat – his calm, easy demeanor was part of the reason he was hooked with a deputy who has a family.  But on the street, he’s all police dog.  “When it’s time to go to work, he’s scratching at the door,” Briehof noted. “He’s chomping at the bit to get out there; he knows it’s time to go to work.  “When he sees me put on my uniform, he runs straight to the door.”
The duo will have to go back for more training this fall to have RC certified as a narcotics dog, but he’s already well prepared to track down criminals.  Until he came onboard, the Sheriff’s Office depended on the help of other agencies to provide tracking and apprehension services.
That meant calling on the State Police, Village of Monticello or Town of Fallsburg – sometimes costing precious time because the other officers were otherwise engaged.  Now Briehof works a specific shift, but he’s on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If a call comes in for RC, the two hop in the Sheriff’s Office new Blazer, outfitted specifically for a K-9 unit and paid for by the $50,000 grant that has covered all but Briehof’s salary – a sum already paid by the department.  “The way the county’s going, we could easily use three more,” Briehof admitted.  “I’d say there were easily 50 calls so far this year where we could have used him.”   That’s not including the 10 calls since the K-9 team graduated from the academy in June.  Briehof spends 10 to 15 minutes a day with RC just going over their basic commands to keep him on the ball.  “I strive to make sure the Sheriff’s office has a good working dog,” he noted.   But the rest of the time, Briehof said it’s nice to have someone along for the ride.  “You couldn’t ask for a better partner,” he said with a grin. “Although sometimes I can’t get rid of him – I get up to go to the bathroom at 2 o’clock in the morning and he’s right behind me!”   On the road, that’s not a problem.
Although he’ll roll around on the floor with the Briehof children, he’s trained to protect his handler.  “If you were to shove me or push me, he’s going to protect me,” Briehof said. “I have immediate back-up.”      he Briehof and RC team has already proved itself as an asset to the county, Schiff said.  “The first one out is going to blaze the trail,” he noted.  As the Sheriff’s office looks into future grant opportunities to expand the K-9 program, Schiff said there’s a shining example already patrolling the streets of just what the dogs can do for the safety of Sullivan County.

Numerous police officers and county leaders attended the funeral in Sullivan County of an active duty police dog in the county sheriff's office. The 6-year-old German shepherd RC was put down June 16 after suffering from a critical intestinal ailment. Officers from numerous regional police agencies, and their dogs, lined the walkway to the Government Center, saluting as RC was carried in procession to the wail of bagpipe music. The small coffin was draped with an American flag decorated with the dog's picture and dates. The funeral was attended by a who's who of Sullivan leaders, including District Attorney Jim Farrell, Sheriff Mike Schiff, Legislature Chairman Scott Samuelson, County Manager David Fanslau and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, D-C-Forestburgh. RC was assigned to Deputy Eric Breihof, who choked up at times and had trouble finishing a short eulogy.

Schiff, Breihof's wife, a priest and fellow police officer also gave emotional testimonials. "He was the most loyal, most devoted, fearless partner you could have," Breihof said. RC lived at Breihof's home as a member of the family. He called the dog "my best friend." RC was born on Feb. 26, 2006, and trained with Breihof at the Orange County Sheriff's Academy in Montgomery, where he was buried with a headstone. The dog was named after former Sullivan County Deputy Robert Chemerys, who died at age 31 from cancer in 1982. Chemerys' son attended the dog's funeral. Sullivan County's law enforcement community also lost another beloved dog. JT, a retired state police dog assigned to Trooper Matt Johnstone, also died June 16.

In Loving Memory of

June 2012

Handler: Sgt. Jay Turner
Muncie Police Department

300 N. High St.
K-9 Unit (620 S. Mulberry St.):

Muncie, IN 47305

K9 police dog lived a good life
Rover's life celebrated with military funeral

Dogs are often thought of as man’s best friend. That was especially the case for Sgt. Jay Turner and his dog, Rover.
Rover served on the Muncie Police Department from 2000 to 2010 before he was put into retirement.
He died last week, and a military funeral was held for him on Sunday. Turner acquired Rover back in 2000 when
 the dog was just 3 years old. Turner happened to be in Chicago training K9 units when he and Rover were
introduced. The dog was actually being trained for the Chicago Police Department, but the trainer there
thought Rover would make a better fit for Muncie because of his size.

The transition wasn’t exactly an easy one for Rover. Turner said the dog was scared to leave the kennel and
all of the officers were afraid to open it up and grab him. “I figured I was going to go in there and get bit
or I was going to be his handler,” he said. “We had it out in the kennel right then, and from then on it
was a good relationship.” After that, Turner said, Rover fit right in with his family. “Rover came into our family
just like he belonged there,” he said. Rover was special from the start, according to Turner. He was able
to flip the difficult switch between work and family, a task with which police dogs often struggle.
 “He was a unique dog in the fact that on the street he could be so mean,” Turner said.

“But I could get a bite at 4 in the morning and by 8 in the morning have him in the kindergarten class and kids
petting him and climbing all over him, and he loved it.” Rover quickly became well known around the community
and especially among the suspects he apprehended. One of Turner’s favorite Rover stories involves a time
 when they chased a suspect and Rover had to bite the suspect’s arm to catch him. Turner said,
"We walked the suspect by the car and he turned to Rover and said, ‘You got me a good one that time, Rover.’”
 Despite making his reputation on the streets of Muncie, Rover was a family dog. It is typically
recommended the K9 dogs be kept in the kennel when at home, but Turner said Rover was always inside with his family.

“When I was off doing something else, he was there to protect them, too, so that was pretty cool,” he said.
Turner described his personal relationship with Rover as being “best friends.” “Whether I was at work or not,
 he was with me,” he said. “I spent more time with him than I did with my family because we were working
 anywhere from 12 to 16 hours a day and he was with me all that time.” Turner and Rover shared many
 moments together, including some that showed the dog’s comic personality. Rover would often take a drink
of water and intentionally smear the remaining drool and water mix on Turner’s shirt, many times leaving it soaking wet.

Although there were many laughable moments, Turner also remembered one particular instance when Rover
could have saved his life. It was a routine traffic stop and, because the department was short that night,
Turner allowed Rover to come out of the car with him. “Rover broke away from me and tried to jump into the
 window and was barking at the guy and I thought something just wasn’t right,” he said. Turner said he
ordered the man to exit the car and when he apprehended him, he discovered a cocked and loaded 9mm pistol
 sitting in the front seat. He said Rover had never broken away from him before. “He knew something was wrong,”
he said. Turner was convinced Rover very well might have saved his life.

Rover had been very ill the past few months, and Turner knew the end had been coming for a while.
A military funeral wasn’t in his original plans for his best friend. “Actually, what I wanted to do was cremate
him and put him in my casket when I kick,” he said. Turner’s wife, along with his close friend
Hagerstown Police Chief Kieth Folkner, planned the funeral and Turner wasn’t aware of it until two days before.
 “He was a fantastic dog and he’s going to be missed,” he said.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
April 25, 2012

Handler: Patrolman Matthew C. Riley
Narragansett Police Department
25 Fifth Ave.
Narragansett, RI  02882

Police Dog Roki Passes Away
Only two months into retirement, former Narragansett police dog Roki passes away after medical complications.

Narragansett Police K-9 Roki passed away on April 25, 2012 after a short two months into retirement. Roki suffered
medical complications and had to be put to sleep. Roki was placed into service in October 2002. He was purchased
 as a fully trained patrol and narcotics K-9 through Sukee Kennels in Warren, Maine. Roki has worked for
the Narragansett Police since that time. Roki was utilized more than 1,000 times in the last nine years.
 He located numerous breaking and entering suspects, and received a number of commendations for his
 outstanding performance.

He also visited all three schools in Narragansett as a public relations tool, and conducted demonstrations
for them, the Boy Scouts of America and the Community Police Academy. Roki assisted with the seizure
 of three pounds of cocaine, 125 pounds of marijuana, 10 ounces of crack cocaine, five ounces of heroin,
five pounds of mushrooms and hundreds of pills of ecstasy. The largest seizure was a kilo of cocaine in
the rear of a motor vehicle in November 2002. Roki is also credited with seizing close to $100,000
 in US currency. Roki was used by this department many times with great success since 2002.

He was used by many outside agencies for tracking and drug searches repeatedly through his 10 year career
 with patrolman Matthew C. Riley. The two were featured several times in the local papers, which wrote
 about their success as a team. Riley and Roki seized a large amount of drugs off the road after a 10-year
 career together. Roki was recently replaced by K-9 Goro in March 2012. Departments using Roki’s
services include Tiverton Police, Newport Police, Providence Police, South Kingstown Police, Westerly Police,
Charlestown Police, North Kingstown Police, the DEA, ICE, U.S. Customs, Jamestown Police and Hopkinton Police.
 Both were members of the Connecticut Police Work Dog Association from 2006-2011.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

 In Loving Memory of
March 28, 2012

Handler: Trooper Shaun Smart
 Southwest Regional Crime Patrol

Ohio State Highway Patrol


Patrol mourns loss of K-9 partner

K9 Officer Rita passed away shortly after retiring from the Patrol due to health reasons.

Troopers are mourning the loss of a beloved member of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Southwest Regional Crime Patrol.
K-9 Rita passed away Wednesday. Rita recently retired due to poor health after seven years with
her partner, Trooper Shaun Smart.
The Patrol says Rita was responsible for the detection of millions
 of dollars in illegal drugs, cash and other contraband.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
March 19, 2012

Handler: Officer Joseph Rodriguez
Atlantic City Police Dept.
2711 Atlantic Avenue  
(609) 347-5779 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 
(609) 347-5779

Atlantic City, New Jersey

 A police dog has been diagnosed with cancer and will be euthanized, the Police Department announced today.
Rosko -- the partner of K-9 training officer Joseph Rodriguez has earned numerous awards
 and won lots of fans in his demonstrations for the city's children.
Rosko also captured Christopher Blank, who led police on an overnight search in 2006
 after he shot two Egg Harbor Township officers after fleeing a motor vehicle stop.
Those who wish to say goodbye to Rosko may do so 3 p.m. Monday at the Redbank Animal Hospital in Linwood.
submitted by Frank Brunetti, NJ

Atlantic City police dog has cancer, will be euthanized By LYNDA COHEN, Staff Writer |


Ailing hero K-9 gets NJ police salute before death

LINWOOD, N.J. — Ailing Rosko the K-9 got a farewell befitting a police dog who once
 captured a man who shot two policemen.

K-9 officers stand at attention with their dogs as the Atlantic City Police Department car carrying Rosko arrives
at the Red Bank Veterinary Clinic in Linwood, N.J., Monday March 19 2012. ACPD K-9 dog Rosko was put to
sleep Monday afternoon at the clinic. The sad event drew police dogs and trainers from all over New Jersey.
Rosko was suffering from cancer. (AP Photo/The Press of Atlantic City, Ben Fogletto)


K-9 officers stand at attention with their dogs as the Atlantic City Police Department K-9 officer and partner,
 Joe Rodriguez walks Rosko to the Red Bank Veterinary Clinic in Linwood, N.J. Monday, March 19, 2012.
ACPD K-9 dog Rosko was put to sleep Monday afternoon at the clinic. The sad event drew police dogs and trainers
from all over New Jersey. Rosko was suffering from cancer. (AP Photo/The Press of Atlantic City, Ben Fogletto)


K-9 officers wait with their dogs for the ACPD car carrying Rosko to arrive at the Red Bank Veterinary Clinic in
 Linwood, N.J., Monday March 19 2012.
ACPD K-9 dog Rosko was put to sleep Monday afternoon at the clinic.
The sad event drew police dogs and trainers from all over New Jersey. Rosko was suffering from cancer.
 (AP Photo/The Press of Atlantic City, Ben Fogletto)

In Loving Memory of
March, 2012

Handler:  Officer Glenn Thompson
Fort Myers Police Department

The Fort Myers Police Department will give K-9 Rosco full honors during his funeral today.
The service starts at 11am at MacGregor Baptist Church on Colonial Blvd.
Rosco was killed last week during an attempted robbery about a mile away from the funeral location.
 Rosco and his handler chased one of the suspects and the K-9 was killed when the suspect shot at them.
The officer returned fire and killed the suspect.
Police officials say it easily could have been Rosco's handler that was shot but the K-9 took the bullet.
Rosco was trained in both patrol and narcotics. He would have been four in January.


K9 officer 'Rosco,' suspect killed in robbery shootout
 A police dog and a robbery suspect are dead after a shootout in Fort Myers Tuesday night.

The incident started around 10:30 p.m. at the McDonald's located at 2955 Colonial Boulevard, near Metro Parkway.
Scott Ortegon was in the drive through - waiting. "Sitting in the drive-thru for a couple of minutes,
no one acknowledged or had taken my order," said Ortegon.  He drove to the second window.
"I was able to see inside and down on the floor and I could see two employees face down
on the floor behind the cash register," said Ortegon.  He called 911.
"I just said, you might want to send a deputy out. I'm not sure but it's just kind of odd," said Ortegon.
Investigators say two masked men robbed the restaurant, after the back door was left
 open for them by an employee. Police confronted the men as they fled out the back door of the restaurant.
One ran off. The other, later identified as 30-year-old Gilberto Amaya, took off in a black
 2002 Volkswagen Jetta, according to a police report. Amaya hit a police dog as he drove off. The K9, "Axe,"
 was taken to a nearby animal hospital, where he is stable.
Police say the runner, 17-year-old Kamyn Jodeci William Bright, exchanged gunfire with
 an officer and then shot another police dog.  "I heard one shot and then 10 shots and then nothing," said Ortegon.
The K-9, named "Rosco," died on the way to an emergency animal hospital.
"He died trying to protect his handler and other officers that were there.  He was trying to catch the bad guy,"
said Sergeant Pete Tarman of the Fort Myers Police Department.
An officer shot and killed Bright in the parking lot of the Suntrust Bank located at 4415 Metro Parkway, 
according to police. Meanwhile, Amaya allegedly led police on a 20-minute chase, which hit speeds of 100 mph.
Other uniformed officers got behind him and attempted to stop him. He did not stop," said Captain Dennis Eads
 of the Fort Myers Police Department.
The chase ended in Alva, where Amaya crashed and flipped the getaway car at Joel and Palm Beach boulevards.
He was quickly taken into custody and transported to Lee Memorial Hospital.
Amaya, whose listed address is 4805 27th St in Lehigh Acres, was medically cleared and then booked into jail
shortly before 8:45 a.m. on charges of:

  • Crimes Against Person Specific Felony Commit Act Could Cause Death
  • Flee/elude Police Fleeing/eludeing Leo Lights/sirens Active
  • Felony Homicide-willful Kill Murder Not Premeditated During Specific Felony
  • Public Order Crimes Cause Great Harm Death Police Fire Sar Animal
  • Public Order Crimes Criminal Attempt Solicit Conspire 1st Deg Fel
  • Robbery With Firearm

The McDonald's employee who allegedly helped the thieves has been identified as 21-year-old Leandro Fermin.
Fermin allegedly told officers someone he knew as "Jaro" approached him a few weeks ago about the crime.
Police say the robbers promised him $300 for leaving the door open for them.
Fermin said Jaro and another man he knew as "Camp" were supposed to come into the restaurant with bats,
 scare everyone and take the money.
But he said after he took the trash out around 10:30 p.m. and left the door open as planned,
the two men showed up with guns.  Fermin is charged with felony murder, robbery with a firearm and
conspiracy to commit a first degree felony.
The two officers involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative leave as standard procedure
pending the outcome of the investigation.
Rosco will be given a full police funeral, according to officers.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
February 28, 2012

Handler: Officer Jesse Brown  

Zebulon Police Department

111 E Vance St.
Zebulon, NC 27597


(Zebulon's K-9, Ronin, returns to his handler, Off. Jesse Brown, during a demonstration in March 2011.)

(Zebulon Off. Jesse Brown and Ronin prepare for a K-9 demonstration in March 2011.)

K-9 Ronin dies unexpectedly 
When the Zebulon Police Department purchased it’s police dog, Ronin, in early 2011, it fully expected to get nine or 10 years
 of service out of its lone four-legged officer. But on Tuesday, Feb. 28, Ronin, a 3-year-old German Shepherd,
 contracted a common bacteria that caused an gastrointestinal hemorrhage. Zebulon Off. Jesse Brown was off duty
that day. When he left his house around 6:30 a.m. to run errands, he said the dog was lively and well. When he
returned around 11:30 a.m. he found blood in Ronin’s kennel behind his house, and his partner was dead.
“He was drinking his water and had eaten his meal the night before,” Brown said.
“There was no signs anything was wrong at the time.  

When I freed him up (in the morning) he was good to go. So I came back to an animal that passed away and a lot of blood.”
 Brown immediately called Zebulon police, who investigated the scene to make sure Ronin’s death was not a
criminal act. When they found no foul play, police called for some medical help. “I immediately called
Dr. (Anthony) Creech, and he suspected instantly what the problem was,” Zebulon police Chief Tim Hayworth
 said. Creech had yet to receive results of a necropsy as of Wednesday, but said preliminary tests suggest
had taken on a clostridium infection caused by a relatively common bacteria.

“It’s an overgrowth of what we could consider bad bacteria that caused severe inflammation of the GI tract.
They call this condition HGE — hemorrhagic gastroenteritis,” said Creech, who served as Ronin’s veterinarian.
“It’s pretty common. Basically it’s in the intestine of a lot of dogs. But when something changes the
 nature of the GI tract — it could be anything the dog has eaten or drank, or a number of things —
 the good bacteria in the intestine is killed off. Creech said the suspect condition takes little time to overrun its victims.
 “It can happen real fast, within four to six hours,” Creech said. Hayworth said the police department has
dedicated too much time and money in the K-9 program to dismiss it altogether.

At Monday’s town board meeting he urged commissioners to approve the purchase of a new police dog. “I’m
 asking that the K-9 program live and not die with this canine,” Hayworth said to the board. He explained
it typically costs about $10,500 to a purchase European-bred dog and train a handler from scratch.
But he said Ventosa Kennels in Scotland Neck — the company that trained Ronin — is offering the
 department a deal of $8,500 for a new dog. Hayworth said Ventosa expected a new batch of dogs
 from the Czech Republic last week. “There’s a waiting list of departments, but because of us only having
 one dog and being in this situation we’re in they’re going to give us our pick out of the latest shipment
of canines,” Hayworth said. “They’re not obligated to cut us any sort of deal.

“They’re recognizing our officer is not going to have to undergo the entire five weeks of the training program.
His training is so recent that he really doesn’t have to have quite as much of this training.” Hayworth asked
for $9,000 for a new police dog. That amount includes $500 to cover the process of bonding between
 Brown and a new dog, which will take place at Ventosa. Commissioners unanimously approved the allocation
 of funds, but not without some questioning from Mayor Bob Matheny. Matheny wanted to know why Ronin’s
 death wasn’t covered by insurance. Hayworth said the dog was included in the department’s insurance
 and the policy isn’t specific to the dog.

Just like any other piece of police equipment, Ronin’s death would have only been covered it had occurred
 in the line of duty. “If the dog was shot by a robber or bit by a snake while doing a track, then
the insurance policy would cover it,” Hayworth said. Matheny asked Hayworth to look into what types of
further coverage could be applied to the future dog. “It’s at least worth looking into,” Matheny said.
 Hayworth said the police department is looking into the possibility of having a separate policy if it’s
economically feasible for the town. Brown first began training with Ronin in February, 2011.
Brown said he was nervous, and thinks Ronin could sense his nervousness.

“It was a long process and I had no idea the depth of what I was getting into,” Brown said. “But I
 had no idea what it would become. It’s the best job I could think of for me.” The duo made a case
for their value since March 28. Ronin was used 172 times to assist with cases in Zebulon and was
 used 49 other times to assist other departments. In the exactly 11 months he was on the job, Ronin
sniffed out 106 grams of marijuana, 7 grams of methamphetamine, 5 grams of cocaine, 5 grams of
heroine and 3 dosage units of Ecstasy. The K-9 unit was also used in seven successful tracking cases.
Two of the seven cases involved armed robberies and one involved an emotionally disturbed teenager who was suicidal.

Ronin was able to track the teen from his house to the location where he was hiding. “Ronin had become
such a good K-9 he basically made me look good,” Brown said. “It is very unfortunate. I feel like he was
 really forgetting into his prime.” Off the streets, Brown said Ronin was what he was — a dog.
“He wanted to play,” he said. “When we were off duty, you just let a dog be a dog. He’s going to
go sniff everything. You just throw him a ball and let him chase after it.” Brown said he is excited
 to be able to keep Zebulon K-9 program alive, but admitted some heartache will linger as he
enters a new partnership. “We were partners,” Brown said of Ronin. “I hardly had to give him
commands — it was almost like he knew what I was thinking. I’d rather have Ronin back,
but I’m excited to keep the program going because it’s heading in the right direction.
 Hopefully the next K-9 we get will have as much character and drive as Ronin.” 
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
November 6, 1999 - February 16, 2012

Handler: Officer Brian Wallander
Greenfield Police Department
 5300 W Layton Ave.
Greenfield, WI 53220

Greenfield Police Mourn Loss of Four-Legged Friend
Former K9 Raider died Feb. 16. He was 12.

K9 Raider, a member of the Greenfield Police Department from 2002-10, died Feb. 16, 2012,
 at his handler's home.

Like all good police officers, K9 Raider was involved in the location and apprehension of dozens of suspects both within
 Greenfield and the surrounding communities.  He was proficient in drug detection and was responsible for the recovery
 of thousands of dollars in seized assets and narcotics.  A beloved member of the Greenfield Police Department family,
Raider died Feb. 16, at the age of 12.
  Raider was born Nov. 6, 1999, in Holland and
was imported to the United States two years later. In 2002,
Officer Brian Wallander travelled to Spring Hope, N.C., and was paired with Raider. The two served together
until Raider’s retirement in 2010. Raider spent his final years with Wallander at his home in Milwaukee.
Raider was trained to track suspects, search buildings and areas and in handler protection, according to
Chief Brad Wentlandt, but his reach in the community went much further. Raider was trained to
 track suspects, search buildings and areas and in handler protection,
according to Chief Brad Wentlandt, but his reach in the community went much further.
"Raider’s greatest impact was probably felt by the hundreds of children who were treated to demonstrations
 of his abilities," Wentlandt said. "He spent many hours posing for photos and allowing children to pet him and
scratch his ears."
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
February 2012

Handler: Officer Brandon Diederich
Council Bluffs Police Department

227 So. 6h St.
Council Bluffs, IA  51503-4270

Council Bluffs Police Officer Brandon Diederich poses with his K-9 partner Rocky. Rocky, who retired from
the department in May 2011 , died last week and officers are honoring his passing by wearing black armbands.

The Council Bluffs Police Department is wearing black armbands to salute a fallen comrade. Rocky, a K-9 officer with the
 department for  almost eight years, died last week. Officer Brandon Diederich and Rocky started working together for
the department in June 2003. Diederich said he got Rocky in January 2003, and began training him for police work.
Rocky’s death was hard on Diederich. “You become very attached,” he said. “They almost become like family.”
Diederich said Rocky was also a source of pride for him, because he trained the dog to do police work.
 “When you get them, they are green,” he said. “Everything put into the dog for police work is done by us.
There is a lot of time and effort put in, and a lot of pride taking a dog that starts out knowing nothing to
 getting to the point you trust him.”

And Diederich had good reason to trust Rocky. Over Rocky’s career, which ended when he officially retired in May 2011.
 He was responsible for taking drugs, with an estimated street value of $34 million, off the streets.
Diederich said Rocky found more than 2,600 pounds of marijuana, 410 pounds of cocaine, 10 pounds of methamphetamine,
Ten (10) pounds of heroine and 95 pounds of psilocybin mushrooms. He also busted a handful of meth labs and
recovered several firearms. He also spent one day a week helping the Metro Area Fugitive Task Force serve warrants on
wanted individuals, and assisted dozens of warrants being served by other units in the CBPD. Over his career he
had 975 deployments, Diederich said.

Rocky was one of a number of K-9 dogs that the late Jim Hawk purchased for the department, said Capt. Scott Milner.
 Chief Ralph O’Donnell said as good as Rocky was, a K-9 officer is only as good as its handler. “They were a team
to be reckoned with,” O’Donnell said of Diederich and Rocky. O’Donnell said Rocky was not only trusted by every
officer in the police department, but Iowa State Patrol as well. When Rocky retired the state patrol recognized
him with a plaque for his service helping the troopers search vehicles on the interstate. “Rocky was a good cop,
and he and Brandon worked well together, "O'Donnell said.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
January 3, 2012

Rio Rancho Police Department
Administration Information
Robert Boone, Police Chief, Dir.
500 Quantum Road
Rio Rancho, NM 87124
505-891-5900 - 505-891-3888 FAX

The Rio Rancho Police Department says its first police dog has died.  The department says Red Dog,
 who served as a narcotics detection K9 from 2000 to almost 2003, died on Jan. 3 from complications
from a drawn out medical condition.  During his career, Red Dog helped numerous narcotics
 seizures and arrests that resulted in large amounts of drugs, drug-related money and property
being taken off the street.  Red Dog was retired in 2002 and lived out the remainder of his
days with a local law enforcement family. 
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA