In Loving Memory of
K9 DRACO & Handler Officer: CASEY KOHLEIER
December 10, 2014
Pontiac, South Carolina
Driver in Crash That Killed Officer and K9 Sentenced
A South Carolina man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison in connection with a vehicle crash that killed an on-duty Pontiac officer
and his police dog on 10/30/13. Jason C. Collins of West Columbia, South Carolina, was sentenced 12/10/14 in Livingston County
Circuit Court. He pleaded guilty in August to four counts of aggravated driving under the influence and one count of reckless homicide. Twenty-nine-year-old officer Casey Kohlmeier and his dog, Draco, were killed when Collin's truck crashed into Kohlmeier's SUV
that was parked on an interstate median. A civil lawsuit filed by the officer's parents is still pending. The civil suit names Collins,
a bar where he'd been drinking and his employer as defendants. submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA
In Loving Memory of
December 17, 2013
Handlers: 1st Handler: Officer Aaron Sutherland
2nd Handler: Sgt. Chris Contreras
Porterville Police Dept.
350 No. D St.
Porterville, CA 93257
A beloved police dog has been euthanized due to medical complications, Porterville police said Tuesday. K9 Diago,
a 9-year-old Belgian Malinois, was born in France in 2004 and brought to the United States about two years later.
He responded to German commands and trained with Office Aaron Sutherland. In 2010, after Sutherland
transferred to investigations, Sgt. Chris Contreras became his handler. Diago retired in July and lived with
the Contreras family.During his almost 7-year career, Diago helped apprehend 135 suspects and was
deployed more than 1,500 times in searches and other duties, saving the department thousands of
man-hours by finding people who were lost or hiding. He also competed in K-9 competitions
and received numerous awards. submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA
In Loving Memory of
November 21, 2013
Handler: Officer Dave Lemmer
Bannockburn Police Department
2275 Telegraph Rd
Bannockburn, IL 60015
Bannockburn police saddened by K-9's abrupt death ( CANCER / SPLEEN )
Bannockburn police Officer Dave Lemmer spent Friday running errands, keeping busy, trying to distract from the
loss of his four-legged partner, Dex. "It still hurts. Yesterday was a lot worse," Lemmer, 57, and
a Mundelein resident, said. "But it still hurts." Dex, an 8-year-old German shepherd and sworn member
of the Bannockburn Police Department, died Nov. 21. Lemmer had noticed the dog was uncharacteristically
lethargic upon waking up. An ultrasound at the veterinarian's office revealed a tumor had
ruptured Dex's spleen. Lemmer had to put him down.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA
Police are still investigation an accident on Interstate 55 that killed a 29-year-old Pontiac police officer and his canine partner. Casey Kohlmeier was parked in the turn-around just north of Illinois 23 in Livingston County Wednesday night. The “Bloomington Pantagraph” says a northbound vehicle struck the squad car killing Kohlmeier and his police dog Draco. Kohlmeier was a U.S. Air Force veteran who joined the department in 2007. submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA & Frank Brunetti, NJ
October 31, 2013 (PONTIAC, Ill.) (WLS) -- Radio/tv
Pontiac Police Officer Casey Kohlmeier was killed when his squad car was struck on I-55.
His police dog, Draco, also died in the crash.
Police say another car hit Kohlmeier's squad car, which was stopped in the I-55 median turnaround just north of Route 23.
The driver of the other car is hospitalized, but his or her condition is not known. Police say it was raining at the time
of the crash, but it isn't clear if weather played a role. At this time, they're not saying if the driver who struck
Kohlmeier's squad will face charges.
"Our investigators are conducting interviews with witnesses and we are working with the Livingston County State's
Attorney's Office. No further information will be available until our investigation is complete,"
Lt. Steve Riesenberg said. Flags at the Pontiac Police Department were lowered to half-mast. "Casey was a 6
year veteran with Pontiac police department and a veteran of the United States Air Force. Officer Kohlmeier
left behind his loving parents, his family and a whole community of friends," Police Chief Jim Woolford,
Pontiac Police Department, said.
In 2009, Kohlmeier and his dog Draco found Tracy Pitchford's 2-year-old daughter when she got lost in a corn maze.
"I had so much gratitude, so much respect for him. If it wasn't for him, we may have never found her,"
Pitchford said. "Casey was a great person. He had a great personality. He was just very kind, and so many people
loved and adored him." Chief Woolford said Kohlmeier was part of the Livingston County Pro-Active Unit,
which is made up of several area police departments, and hoped to join the FBI.
"It's a hole that we're not prepared to fill right now. It means a lot to us. There's not an officer in this country
that doesn't regard Casey as a beloved friend so, we're deeply wounded," Chief Woolford said.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA & Frank Brunetti, NJ
In Loving Memory of
July 6, 2013
Handler: Officer John Vogt
Ocean City Police Department
835 Central Ave
Ocean City, New Jersey 08226
K9 Deuce Died
Deuce, the Ocean City Police Department
K-9 died on Saturday, July 6 with his
handler, Officer John Vogt,
and his family at his side. “He was my steady, faithful partner,” said
Vogt. We went through a 28-week training
program, which certified him as a patrol and K-9 narcotics dog.
“Everything was cut short for him,
it’s been really tough and we were very close. We worked together, day in
and day out, since 2008.” Deuce,
who Vogt said wore badge number 306, became ill over Memorial Day weekend
in 2012. He struggled
through the summer with a
gastrointestinal issue and, despite a
special diet, was forced to stop working
in September. He was officially retired
in February 2013.
“I hoped to
bring him back to work, but
unfortunately it just wasn’t happening,”
Ocean City Police Capt. Steve Ang said Vogt is emotional about Deuce’s
death. “Deuce was a police
officer, but he was also a member of John's family,” Ang said. “It's been
very difficult for him.
“We appreciate John's dedication and
devotion to the development of this
program.” Deuce, a 5-year-old
German shepherd, was a huge asset to the
Ocean City Police, Vogt said. “He was
always there, just
his mere presence on the scene, his bark
prevented crime,” he said. “We’d show up
and he would
immediately (decelerate) a potential crime scene.
a big deterrent, and kept all of our
police officers safe.” Suspects, he
said, often attempt to
challenge a police officer, but rarely
challenged Deuce. “The dog sets a whole
new tone,” he said. “He was
really nice to have around.” Deuce, he
said, was an “excellent dog.” He
assisted in the apprehension of his
first suspect just two weeks after officially joining the Ocean City
Police Department. “There was a burglary
in progress at TJ’s Ice Cream on Battersea Road, late at night,” Vogt
said. He said the police were
summoned and officers arrived to find
the suspect at the cash register.
sent Deuce loose,” he said. “The guy
came out with his hands up, we didn’t
force, whatsoever.” Deuce was also instrumental in apprehending a burglary
suspect in the south end.
“The suspect was hiding under a porch,”
Vogt said. Deuce tracked him down, he
said. “A human police officer
would never have found him hiding where
he was. This suspect was involved with
more than three dozen burglaries,
and Deuce was responsible for finding him,” Vogt said. Trained to sniff
out narcotics, Deuce’s nose assisted
the police department in numerous drug arrests.
down barriers between the community and
the police department. He visited
and served as a community ambassador when he wasn’t helping to solve
crime. “A lot of people really
the fact that we had a dog,” Vogt said. Children in the Ocean City Primary
School participated in a contest to
choose a name for the first K-9 to serve
in Ocean City in nearly four decades.
“He was a positive force for
the police department,” Vogt said. “The
kids loved him. Everyone loved him. He
helped all of the officers;
he was like having an extra tool in our
born in Germany and raised and trained
in North Carolina. He arrived in Ocean
of donations from members of the
community, including resident Pat Croce
and Mayor Jay Gillian, who paid
the freight to bring him to Ocean City and equipped a police car to
service him. Community donations
helped pay for food, medicine and
veterinarian care. “The Ocean City
Humane Society went above and
beyond for Deuce,” Vogt said. Deuce was required to attend monthly
training to remain
proficient. “We trained every day.”
In addition to working hard in Ocean
City, Deuce also competed in the United
States Police Canine
Association (USCPA) Region 15 Field
Trials, often times placing in the top
of his group. “We were
together all the time,” Vogt said, adding that Deuce was more than a
fellow officer. “The bond between
a handler and a K-9 dog is incredible. It’s very, very sad to lose him.”
Deuce, he said, was able to turn his
“police personality” on and off in an instant.
badge and vest on, he was an officer,
but when the duo returned to the family
home at the end
of the work day, he was a loving family pet. “When we’d get in the car, he
was all business,” Vogt said.
At home, he was a member of the Vogt
family, playing with Roxy, a black
Labrador mix. Vogt said his wife,
Melisa, and children, John and Reilly, loved Deuce. “We all took a lot of
pride in Deuce,” he said.
“Everyone is devastated by his passing.”
Ang said that Deuce’s death is a loss
for the community.
“Deuce was a big asset. We had a lot of great experiences with him.
From a police standpoint, he was
able to track down suspects, without risking an officer or a gun fight.
He was able to flush out a lot of
suspects for us,” Ang said. “He was also
a big asset for community relations”
Ang said the OCPD and city officials are evaluating the loss of Deuce and
the value of a K-9 program
to the community. He said it is too early to determine whether Deuce will
be replaced. The K-9 program,
he said, was an asset to Ocean City, but all variables must be weighed.
“The upstart of a new K-9 would be
between $8,000 and $10,000,” Ang said. “It’s too soon to evaluate. We’ll
have to see how it goes."
"We have a trained handler in Officer
Vogt, ready to go.” Ang said that it
would take about a year to get a new dog
back on the street, however. Meanwhile, Ocean City is able to access a
trained dog when needed, through
shared services agreements with Somers
Point and the Cape May County Sheriff’s
Office. Vogt said that while
some viewed Deuce as “just a dog,” to his fellow officers and his family,
he was much more. “He was a police
officer, my partner, my friend and a member of my family,
whose main goal in life was to please
all of us,”
Even though his career and life were cut short, Deuce was a true asset to
the police department
and community. He was very, very special
and he will be deeply missed.”
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir.