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
May 22, 2015

Handler: Sgt. Ernest Jefferies 
Chesapeake Police Department
1209 20th St.
Chesapeake, VA
Officers bid an emotional final farewell to Police K9 Rok

You won't see an obituary for this retired member of the Chesapeake Police Department, but K9 Rok was sent off with a final salute recently and plenty of accompanying tears. The 11 1/2-year-old Belgian Malinois was put down on May 22 after a short battle with lymphoma. He also suffered from service-related injuries, including hip and spinal problems sustained during a training accident. Sgt. Ernest Jefferies, who is now in charge of the police department's K9 unit, was Rok's handler. "He came from Czechoslovakia. His ribs were visible and he was in deplorable shape.

He looked more like a malnourished stray than he did a police dog," said Jefferies, noting Rok only had an import number, but no name when he arrived. The runt of his litter, who tipped the scales at 68 pounds, worked the streets as a patrol K9 for a year and then cross-trained in narcotics. In 2008, he became the first official K9 member of the Chesapeake Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics Team. He retired three years ago. "I wanted to come to work each night with a partner who lived for and in the moment," said Jefferies, who got just that - and more - in Rok.

Jefferies described his canine partner as brave, of tenacious spirit, eager to catch the bad guys, and a natural police dog that lived for his job. "He was a phenomenal narcotics dog," Jefferies said. Rok was responsible for hundreds of pounds of marijuana and narcotics being removed from the streets, as well as the seizure of countless vehicles, firearms and currency. "But his passion was the hunt," Jefferies said. "Rok apprehended numerous burglars, drug dealers, robbery and homicide suspects." Yet, off-duty at home with Jefferies' wife, two daughters ages 9 and 11, and his other family dogs, Rok was an affectionate goofball.

Jefferies laughed as he recalled how often he'd wake on a Saturday morning to the smell of bacon and eggs only to learn that his wife hadn't made them for him, but for Rok. "He was part of our family and my only son," Jefferies said. Lethargic and unable to stand the last few days of his life, Rok showed his incredible strength and dignity when he pulled himself out of Jefferies' vehicle, lifted his head high and took his final walk to the entrance of Hickory Veterinary Hospital. With heavy hearts, Jefferies and more than 50 police officers from various jurisdictions, military personnel and friends gave their final salute to Rok. He also received a SWAT pin on his collar. "I'm 100 percent convinced he felt supported," Jefferies said. "He made sure I came home safe every night. I can only hope I was half the partner to Rok which he was to me."  submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

June 1, 2015
Handler: Officer Wayne Strader
Dolorado Springs Police Dept.

705 S Nevada Ave
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Retired CSPD K9 euthanized due to brain tumor

A retired CSPD K9 was euthanized Monday after developing a brain tumor. Colorado Springs police said the tumor caused K9 Rex
 to lose balance and movement. Rex was a 13-year-old German Shepherd that was assigned to CSPD’s Airport Unit Explosives
 Detection K9 Team from 2005 to 2012. “K-9 Rex spent thousands of hours searching luggage, cargo, vehicles, buildings,
aircraft, and passengers to ensure the safety of the traveling public while assigned to the Unit,” police said in a statement.
“K-9 Rex also worked hundreds of special events, cleared numerous bomb threats within the city, and provided security
 for several presidential details.” Police said Rex was retired to his handler, Officer Wayne Strader, in 2012, for
unrelated medical issues. He enjoyed the rest of his life at home with his family. 
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

May 28, 2015
Handler: Detective Donnie Harris  
Martinsville Police Department
55 W Church St
Martinsville, VA 24112
Respects to be Paid to K-9 Ryder
NMPD Detective Donnie Harris with his partner. Shown is the cruiser K-9 Ryder used to ride in along with.
A memorial service in honor of the late New Martinsville Police Department K-9 Officer Ryder will be held 6:30 p.m., Friday, June 5 in front of New Martinsville's City Building. Ryder gave eight years of service to the city and to the NMPD, passed away suddenly Thursday, May 28. He was roughly 10 years old. "It's just a hard time for our department," NMPD Police Chief Tim Cecil stated of Ryder's passing. K-9 Officer Ryder's main comrade was Detective Donnie Harris of the department. Cecil states that Ryder went home with Harris everyday. "Everywhere (Harris) went, Ryder went actually."
Harris states that from speaking with the vet, it is believed that Ryder had a large, lengthy tumor that ruptured, causing Ryder to bleed to death from the inside rather quickly. The NMPD released a statement Friday regarding the death of K-9 Officer Ryder. It stated that Officer K-9 Ryder "was loyal and dedicated to NMPD and to our city." Cecil himself added that Ryder "has gotten more drugs off the streets than any other officer. We thank officer K-9 Ryder for his dedication and his loyalty to our city." It's no surprise that the NMPD also has plenty of memories of Ryder. "What I like most of all was taking him into schools. We did that for cub scouts as well and different places.
Even kids that were scared of dogs, seemed to make up with Ryder," Harris states. "I know he'll be greatly missed within the department. He became a mascot of sorts. People would come in and see him. The city judge would bring in hot dogs. People would stop in to say hi to him." Harris says he was laughing this year at prom time, because the school called to check to see if Ryder was going to attend the after prom. Harris himself has a lot of memories of Ryder. He states that one of the best stories to do with Ryder's work involves himself and Patrolman Dave Howell. "We received a call about a federal fugitive. They said he was in a parking lot and would run.
We knew this to be true because he has run in the past. So we parked near and go out foot with Ryder out front. The guy looks like he is going to run and sees Ryder and changed his mind. What he didn't know was Ryder may have run him down and licked him. Ryder was a single-purpose narcotics dog." Harris states that a personal funny moment with Ryder was when Harris arrived home at 4 a.m. one night and Ryder went to visit Harris' parents, who at the time lived next door. "Dad hears his dogs barking and opens the window to look out. Ryder jumps up, looks in the window, and gives him a kiss. He was known to do that."
Officer K-9 Ryder was handled by Patrolman Tony Thomas until 2011. When Thomas took another job at another department, he had to give Officer K-9 Ryder back to NMPD. "One of the hardest things I had to do was to give Ryder back. But I knew he was going to a good home and would be well taken care of. Thank you Donnie Harris," Thomas stated on Facebook upon hearing of Ryder's death. Officer K-9 Ryder has been with Detective Harris in investigations since that time. NMPD's statement added 'that Ryder would be missed by family, friends, and co-workers.
Holly Harris, wife of Detective Harris, states that Ryder wasn't just her husband's partner, as he was a member of the family. "He will be missed by many," Holly added. Harris stated that Ryder lived in his home and will always be a part of his life. "Rest in peace, my K-9 brother," he stated. Harris states he has received several calls, messages and people giving him condolences in person. "I am overwhelmed by the kindness," he states. NMPD, via their statement, sent condolences, thoughts, and prayers to both the families of Harris and Thomas: "Rest in peace Officer K-9 Ryder. Your services here are done and will forever be greatly appreciated.
We thank you for your partnership and service to our community. You will be greatly missed!Sistersville Police Department, via Facebook, also offered their condolences to New Martinsville Police Department along with Detective Harris and his family. "Our department is with you in this time of mourning and would like to offer our assistance in anything that may be needed. RIP Ryder," the statement said. Additionally, Officer Michael Owens of NMPD has started a Go Fund Me account to purchase a memorial for Officer K-9 Ryder.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
May 16, 2015

Handler: Officer Geoffrey Lucas
Randolph Police Department

41 South Main St.
Randolph, MA  02368


Members of the Randolph Police Department are mourning the death of retired K9 Rony.  He served the department
for nine years.  Rony was a member of the Randolph Police from 2005 to March, 2014.  Officer Geoffrey Lucas
was his partner and handler throughout his tenure.  Please join us in keeping Officer Lucas and his family in your
thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.  Rony served with "honor and dedication."
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

Handler: Officer Michael Ponder 
Alexander City Police Department
1 Court Square
Alexander City, AL 35010

Alex City says goodbye to beloved K9 officer

Alexander City K9 Officer Reba died recently after becoming ill.
 The dog had been responsible for more than 40 drug related arrests.

The Alexander City Police Department said goodbye to one of their own, as K9 Officer Reba passed away unexpectedly. Reba,
the four-legged partner to Officer Michael Ponder, fell ill one evening and was found dead when Ponder awoke the next
morning. “It has been tough,” Ponder said. “She had been with me almost every day for the last year and a half. She loved
 to work and was good at what she did. It’s just tough for her to not be there, jumping up, ready to go every day.”
Ponder said that Reba had battled gastrointestinal issues since she was a puppy, requiring medication every day.

He said that she had a thorough checkup a week earlier and all the blood work came back with no signs of problems.
“She had always been sick, but nothing like this,” Ponder said. “It was just very sudden.” Reba was a German Shepherd
 that had been cross-trained in the detection of multiple kinds of drugs. Chief Willie Robinson said that Reba played a
 role in more than 40 drug arrests and had sniffed out marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines and prescription
medications in her time on the job. “She was a good one and it has been tough on Officer Ponder,” Robinson said.

“She was with him every day. He fed her, took care of her and when you are that close to a dog, it does hurt.”
Robinson said that a private funeral ceremony with full honors was held. He said the loss leaves not only a void
 in the hearts of officers, but on the force as well. “We are down to one K9 now and ideally you want to have one
 for every shift,” Robinson said. “The things that they can do really makes a difference.  We hope that we can
replace her eventually, but the cost is extensive, so we will have to see what we can do." Reba had also worked
with the Tallapoosa County Narcotics Task Force and worked in the schools doing demonstrations. “She was a great one,”
 Ponder said. “She was spot on when it came to detection, but she was gentle around kids too. That’s a rare blend,
 but she could do it all.”
 submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
April 24, 2015

Handler: Sgt. Chris Bitton
Weber County Sheriff's Office
721 West 12th Street
Ogden, Utah  84404


Former Weber County K-9 officer Radar laid to rest
This photo shows the bond between Weber County Patrol Sgt. Chris Bitton and Radar, who served as a K-9 officer
with Bitton for eight years. Both retired in 2011. Radar lived to be 14.

A former Weber County sheriff’s officer has been laid to rest, this one of the four-footed variety. “Earlier tonight we said
 goodbye to Radar, my dad Chris’s longtime companion, friend, and protector,” Turner Bitton posted on his Facebook page
 on April 24. “We’ve had Radar for 12 years and he served by my dad’s side for eight of those, keeping him safe and sane.
 We love you Radar and we’ll always remember you for your sweet and wonderful personality.” Radar, a Belgian Malinois,
 was about 23 months old when Sgt. Chris Bitton drove to Arizona to check him out as a prospective K-9 officer.

“We tested him hard,” Chris Bitton recalls, “then tossed the tennis ball for him, just letting him be a dog,” It was during
 that playtime that Radar acquired his name. One of the other deputies with Bitton clocked the dog with his radar gun
as he chased the ball, and logged his speed at 37 mph, “He was pretty quick,” Chris Bitton said. “We were a business
 — I was 51 percent, he was 49 percent,” Chris Bitton said of the inseparable team he and Radar became until
both retired together from the Weber County Sheriff’s Office in November 2011.

Radar was acquired with drug seizure funds, Chris Bitton said, so in addition to accompanying him on night patrols,
 he also served as a strike force dog, sniffing out narcotics and other contraband. “Radar was a little different,” Bitton said.
 “He had a sense of humor and did some odd things.” One such incident involved serving a search warrant at a home
near 28th Street and Grant Avenue where a fugitive had barricaded himself inside. Bitton breached the front door and
Radar ran ahead into the kitchen. When Bitton caught up to him, Radar was up on the stove feasting on carne asada.

“I told him to get down, and he looked at me like ‘aren’t we here to eat lunch?’” Bitton said. The pair would also arrive
 at a downtown convenience store around closing time to make sure employees made it to their cars safely. “So we’d go in
 and get a drink at the end of the shift, and they’d be getting rid of their corndogs. Radar would get one for free, but
 I’d have to pay for mine,” Bitton grinned about his sidekick, who also became a celebrity during elementary school DARE
 sessions. When off duty, Radar enjoyed being the Bitton family dog. “I was about 13 when Radar came to
 us,” Turner Bitton said.

“He was a sweetheart his whole life, never aggressive or mean with us. He loved to chase the ball, loved to go on walks.”
 On the job, Radar “was a busy dog and well-known for his (drug) busts,” Turner Bitton said. “He always wanted to work.”
 Radar’s years of leaping over fences, crawling through attics, jumping in and out of trucks, and chasing after suspects
 took its toll, causing hip dysplasia and torn ligaments in his rear legs. After 3 years of retirement, the dreaded day
 came that Radar signaled to Chris Bitton that it was time to say goodbye. “Last Friday, he walked a few steps and
tipped over,” Chris Bitton said. “He was telling me, Dad, it’s time to let me go.”

Lt. Chad Ferrin, who oversees the sheriff’s K-9 program and also heads up Weber County Animal Services, said he got
 the call to help euthanize Radar. “Being a former dog handler myself, I understand how tough that decision is to make,”
 Ferrin said. “If they’re suffering and are beyond help or repair because of all the hard work over the years ... it’s a
really tough and emotional day, but a necessary part of the dog’s life cycle.” Ferrin remembers Radar as “a bit of a nut,
 no question,” but also lightning quick, smart, hard-hitting, hard-biting and very agile. Some of his quirky humor
came from Chris Bitton, Ferrin said. “I think those two were two nuts in a shell,” Ferrin said. “They made an outstanding
 team.” The Bittons had the option of burying Radar in the Ogden Cemetery with other past K-9 officers — or on the
 family cattle ranch in West Warren where he had enjoyed running in the fields. They chose the latter.
“I wanted him closer,” Chris Bitton said. 
  submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
April 16, 2015

Handler: ...
(help with name)
Alex City Police Department

Sorry to announce the passing of K-9 Reba of the Alex City Police Department in Alabama. End of watch 04/16/15,
due to health issues. Pray for the handler who came home to find her deceased in her kennel.
submitted by Jim Cortina, CPWDA  
p.s. waiting for more info.........

In Loving Memory of
April 15, 2015

Handler: Detective Alan Girsch
Valdosta Police Department

500 North Toombs Street
Valdosta, GA
Three year-old K9 loses battle with cancer
Valdosta Police Department officers said goodbye to one of their own Wednesday after K9 Officer Riko lost his battle with
 cancer.   Riko, a German shepherd born in Holland, trained at Kasseburg Canine in New Market, Ala., and began
 working the city  streets of Valdosta in December 2013 with his handler Detective Alan Girsch.
Riko accomplished much in his short lifetime.
During the past 16 months, this crime-fighting K9 team seized approximately $82,000 worth of marijuana,
 cocaine, and methamphetamines from city streets.

This proactive K9 team was utilized many times to track down and apprehend fleeing felons, recover stolen property and
search buildings and wooded areas for felony suspects. K9 Riko and Girsch assisted many area law-enforcement agencies and
 federal law-enforcement agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the United States Postal Service. 
  Although K9 Riko was a specialist in all aspects of patrol work, his most notable asset to his handler and the Valdosta
 community was his ability to search for and locate fleeing felons, according to the VPD. 

K9 Riko was also a great public teaching tool during community demonstrations at public schools, daycares, and citizen’s
 police academy classes. The K9 team would conduct demonstrations of the K9 Unit’s capabilities by performing obedience
 sessions, drug and article searches and apprehension demonstrations. Riko and Girsch were together every day, working
 side by side as partners. On more than one occasion, Riko protected his partner and would have given his life, if needed,
 according to the VPD. With his partner beside him, the eternally loyal, hardworking, and brave K9 Riko passed away at
 the University of Florida veterinary center holding tight to his favorite toy. 

Riko was only 3 and a half years old and just coming into his best K9 years, according to VPD. After working steadily
 to serve the Valdosta Police Department and showing no symptoms of being sick until three days ago, K9 Riko was
 diagnosed with aggressive Lymphoma this week.  “With all of this happening since only Monday, it was a shock to learn
that he would only have weeks to live,” according to the police department. “The painful decision to say goodbye to
save him from suffering was made. His heart-broken partner, Detective Girsch took some comfort in knowing that
Riko remained faithful and hardworking until the very end.

“He never wavered in his duties or showed sign of illness until only a few days before he died. He remained happy and
 excited to go to work each day with his partner until he couldn’t go any longer. His partner and his work are what he
 loved and lived for each day. They were an awesome team.” “Riko was a great officer and part of the Valdosta Police family.
 He will be missed dearly,” said Valdosta Police.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

April 2, 2015

Handler: Officer Jerry Denton
Metro Nashville Police Department
200 James Robertson Pkwy.
Nashville, TN
Retired Metro K9 Officer Passes Away

The Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) is mourning the loss of retired K9 officer Roscoe. Roscoe, who was 11
 years old, passed away Sunday due to medical issues that he had been battling last week. He was at home with his partner,
Officer Jerry Denton, and his family. Roscoe joined the MNPD in 2004 and retired in 2013, according to the department’s
 post. He protected Officer Denton and many others during his time as a K9 officer and is credited with apprehending
 many criminals. 
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
March 19, 2015

Handler: Trooper Wolfe 
Ohio Highway Patrol
Highway Patrol loses former K9 Roy
Roy, a K9 officer with the Bucyrus Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol, died March 19 at the age of 13 and a half.
During his eight-year tenure with the Bucyrus Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol, Roy was responsible for the seizure of
more than $1 million in illegal drugs and U.S. currency.  

"Although he wasn't trained in bite work and self-defense, I've no doubt he would've acted like any dog when it
 came to protection," the trooper said. Roy often had a different effect on those the patrol pulled over, however.
 "Our natural instinct when we're guilty of doing something we're not supposed to be doing is fear, and when a drug-sniffing
dog is right behind you they're pretty hard to fool. Dogs can sense multiple things," Wolfe said. Roy was born in
the Netherlands in September 2001, and shortly thereafter began a long period of training for law enforcement work.

"Depending on the training that's involved, the pre-training can take several months, and then anywhere from
 two to 10 weeks of training with the handler. It's getting to understand what motivates the dog, understanding his
aggressiveness, and why he does what he does," Wolfe said. "It works on a reward program. When he finds something,
 he's rewarded with food or a toy. It's all about play and having fun. It's work to us, but to him it's playing a game."
 "We could see he was starting to slow down with age," Wolfe said. "They offered me another dog,
but I didn't want to do it."

Wolfe is in his 23rd year with the Ohio Highway Patrol, working on licenses and inspections as well as normal traffic
duties, but is no longer on the K9 unit. "I kind of went cold turkey, but I do miss having him with me," he said of Roy.
 There are three dogs assigned to the patrol's district headquarters in Bucyrus, with two more slated to be brought
 on board soon. Shortly after the Highway Patrol's Bucyrus post posted news about Roy's passing on its Facebook page
 Thursday, people responded, with hundreds of comments and thousands of likes. Many thanked Roy for his service.

"You lived a long life and did so many good deeds," wrote one commenter. "I know you are waiting for Trooper Wolfe,"
 wrote another. "We loved him so much, He will be missed badly. I know my family feels as if we've lost a family
 member. Thank you, everyone, for the kind words," Wolfe's daughter, Michaela, wrote on the post's Facebook page.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
April 9, 2015

Handler: Deputy John Kulchar 
Athens County Sheriff's Office
13 W. Washington St #100
Athens, OH 45701 
Deputy K9 loses life in house fire
A beloved member of the Athens County Sheriff's Office, canine Ryder, lost his life in a house fire Thursday afternoon.
Ryder joined the sheriff's office in July of 2013. He worked alongside his handler and partner, Deputy John Kulchar.
Ryder was four years old.
Fire departments were toned to Kulchar's residence on Luhrig Road near Athens around
12:45 p.m. Upon arrival, the doublewide trailer home was engulfed in flames.
Multiple fire departments responded to the
 scene including The Plains, Waterloo, Albany, Chauncey, Richland Area and Athens. Personnel from the Ohio State
 Highway Patrol and Athens Police Department also arrived as did deputies with the sheriff's office. According to
 Sheriff Rodney Smith, emergency officials tried to kick down the front door but the flames and heat ultimately
 turned them away.


Ryder, a Belgian Malinois, was unable to escape the home. Kulchar was not home at the time. Ryder's body was taken
 from the scene with an American flag draped across him. Ryder came to the office from France. He was trained in
 narcotics targeting, handler protection, tracking and other patrol duties. The canine was part of numerous drug
confiscations and investigations in his time with the sheriff's office. Kulchar and Ryder took over the canine division
 after John Morris was promoted to lieutenant and his canine Esko retired. Little was known of the nature of the fire
 or its origins by The Messenger's deadline. The Ohio State Fire Marshal's Office was on scene as well.

K9 Ryder service........
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

Handler: Ptl. Dan Hirz 
Willowick mourns death of K9 Recon
The Willowick Police Department has lost one of their own. The department's first police canine, Recon, has died. Recon had
 been with the department since 2006, when he was brought to Willowick from Germany and partnered with Ptl. Dan Hirz.
Recon was a dual-purpose K9, trained in patrol and narcotics detection, and also served as an ambassador for the
Willowick Police Department. He retired in April of 2014 and was later diagnosed with
Degenerative Myelopathy,
 a progressive neurological disease. Officer Hirz says it was his distinct honor to share Recon with the citizens of Willowick.

submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

September 28, 2003- March 13, 2015

Handler: Officer Lori Noltze 
Sioux City Police Department

Handler, Officer Lori Noltze, by his side. Remco faithfully served the Sioux City Police Department alongside Officer Noltze for over 10 years. He had many successful tracks, apprehensions, drug arrests, and was involved with several demonstrations throughout the community. Remco won several awards over the years both regionally and nationally for his patrol and drug seeking abilities. He was a beloved member of Officer Noltze's family. Please join us in offering Officer Noltze words of comfort and prayers during this difficult time. RIP 9-28-03 to 3-13-15.s handler, Officer Lori Noltze, by his side. Remco faithfully served the Sioux City Police Department alongside Officer Noltze for over 10 years. He had many successful tracks, apprehensions, drug arrests, and was involved with several demonstrations throughout the community. Remco won several awards over the years both regionally and nationally for his patrol and drug seeking abilities. He was a beloved member of Officer Noltze's family. Please join us in offering Officer Noltze words of comfort and prayers during this difficult time. RIP 9-28-03 to 3-13-15.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

January 27, 2015
Handler: Officer Shirley Sumner 
Irvine Police Department
1 Civic Center Plaza
Irvine, CA 92606

We are sad to share that our beloved retired K-9, Rudy, passed away after a battle with cancer. Rudy was a 12-year-old
 Malinois who spent 8 years as... a K-9 Officer with the Irvine Police Department. Rudy retired in 2014, and spent his
 final months in the loving home of his handler and partner, Officer Shirley Sumner.
In his years as a K-9 Officer,
Rudy had over 400 drug finds and 30 evidence finds, including five guns in separate cases. He participated in
numerous SWAT deployments and was responsible for the arrest of over 35 dangerous suspects. Rudy performed
over 100 public demonstrations and assisted agencies all over Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange County. Rudy is much-loved
and will be missed. 
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
February 24, 2015



New Mexico State Police
New Mexico State Police dog passes away
Rodi, a police K-9 who worked with the New Mexico State Police and Department of Public Safety, passed away Tuesday.
He was 12 years old. He served the department for eight years before he retired in 2014. During his career,
Rodi help authorities seize 1,500 pounds of marijuana, 6.6 pounds of crack cocaine, 991 pounds of cocaine,
82 pounds of meth, 16 pounds of heroin, 6 pounds of ecstasy and $581,000. Rodi passed away due to
complications from an illness. 
 submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

February 13, 2015
Handler: Officer Pat Mullen 
Lakewood Police Department
12650 Detroit Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44107
Lakewood police K-9 officer Robby passes away

For the second time in two years, Lakewood police are mourning the passing of a police dog Robby, the six-year veteran of the department's K-9 unit, died Friday afternoon following a battle with a blood disease. His handler, Pat Mullen, and his handler's
family were with him when he passed. Robby joined the department in May 2009 as one of two multi-purpose police dogs that
helped with everything from searching for drugs to chasing down suspects. The department's dogs live with their handlers'
 families, said Sgt. Tim Schad, the head of the Lakewood Police Department's K-9 Unit. "It's a tight bond," Schad said.

Mullen is taking several days off in the wake of his dog's death and wasn't available for comment. Lakewood police use their
dogs almost daily, Schad said. "If someone flees from us, he can help us find them," he said. "And he can do smaller scale
 stuff. If we think the suspect dropped a gun (as he was being chased), he can help us find the gun." K-9 dogs also help
look for drugs and other contraband when officers execute search warrants. Robby recently tracked a manslaughter suspect
 and held him until he was arrested, a press release on Lakewood's website said. Lakewood Police Chief Tim Malley will
decide if and when Robby will be replaced, Schad said. This marks the second time the department has lost a dog in
as many years. Police dog
passed away in January 2013 after almost 10 years with the department.
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of

February 7, 2015
Handler: Deputy Jeff Hermanson 
Saunders County Sheriff’s Department
387 North Chestnut Street
Wahoo, NE
Rudy, a K-9 who served the Saunders County Sheriff's Department for years,
 is shown with his handler, Deputy Jeff Hermanson.
The 12-year-old dog, who was ready to retire, died recently.

Deputy Jeff Hermanson has lost his partner. Rudy, the police dog, died Saturday in Hermanson’s home at Cedar Bluffs. The 12-year-old Belgium Malinois was part of the Saunders County Sheriff’s Department for years. During his time on the force, the K-9 was involved in various drug cases. He sniffed out 120 pounds of marijuana in one case and a kilo of cocaine (about 2.2 pounds) in another. Rudy helped in the apprehension of suspects, some of whom might not otherwise have surrendered, and provided protection for Hermanson, who was his handler.

The Cedar Bluffs Volunteer Fire Department, which Hermanson also serves, paid the cremation fee and a service in honor of the K-9 is tentatively set for later this month. Originally, Rudy was part of the Ashland Police Department and his handler then was Cody Mason. After Mason was hired by the Saunders County Sheriff’s Department, Ashland agreed to have Rudy transition to that office in 2006. After Mason went to Greeley, Colo., Hermanson became Rudy’s handler in 2007. “They were a great team,” said Saunders County Sheriff Kevin Stukenholtz. Rudy was classified as a dual purpose K-9, certified for drug and patrol work and tracking.

“In occasions where there’s a suspect that flees in a car and then they take the car until they can’t go any further, and then they flee on foot — after that then he’s been real helpful in those cases,” Stukenholtz said, adding that the dog would track down and locate the suspect. Stukenholtz cited a case where a burglary suspect fled into a cornfield. The dog’s barking was enough to cause the suspect to surrender right away. “That really helped,” Stukenholtz said. “We probably wouldn’t have gotten him without a dog,” Hermanson added. Several times, Hermanson’s called for suspects to come out — from wherever they were — and they simply gave up.

“Whether that was because of the dog or not, I don’t know, but I would like to think so,” he said. Hermanson noted instances when suspects didn’t want the dog tearing through their car, so they just told him where the drugs were. Rudy proved valuable in various situations. “He was a big deterrent if people thought they could engage in a fight with me or flee from the scene of a traffic stop, whether it be drunk drivers or whatever,” he said. Rudy proved formidable and steadfast. “He was very vocal and very intimidating,” Hermanson said.

“I didn’t have to worry about him if I would be in trouble – him coming out an engaging the bad guy … pretty much every traffic stop, he would be sitting there, watching me and making sure everything was going good.” The dog’s disposition changed when Hermanson brought the K-9 home from work. “I don’t know how he did it, but it would be like a light switch when he would get out of the cruiser and we’d go home and he just wouldn’t bark at anybody. You could walk into our house and he’d come up and lick you,” Hermanson said. “… He was a completely different dog. He’d be your normal lap dog.” Rudy was good with Hermanson’s children.

“He was as good of a family dog as he was a patrol dog,” Hermanson said. When working, Rudy wasn’t social around other dogs, but he did play with a Labrador retriever that became part of the Hermanson family. “The two dogs would wrestle just like they were pups and had grown up their whole lives together,” he said. Rudy got sick around Christmas and was out of service. “We were looking to retire him full time,” Stukenholtz said, adding that the county board planned to take action, officially making Hermanson Rudy’s owner. Hermanson said his wife, Cindi, was with Rudy and that the dog died peacefully. What was the best part of having Rudy?

“Security out on the road,” Hermanson said. Hermanson said a new K-9 will cost about $9,500 and he will begin training with the new dog in March. A $5,000 donation already has been made. Stukenholtz said the department will miss Rudy’s high level of energy. “He was a real, hard-driving dog,” Stukenholtz said. “He was a good teammate for Jeff Hermanson.”
submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA

In Loving Memory of
February 6, 2015

Handler: Det. Shane Driscoll
University of Wisconsin Police Department

1429 Monroe Street
Madison, WI 53711

Retired UW Police K9 officer dies
The UW Police Department's oldest K9 officer has died after battling health complications. Rex died in Madison on Friday,
 he was 12 years old. Rex and his handler, Det. Shane Driscoll, retired from the UW-Madison Police Department in
March 2014, but remained active with the UWPD and the university. The pair worked at several UW football games last fall.
 Rex came to the UWPD in 2003, and specialized in explosive detection and human tracking. He was called upon to
protect countless national and international dignitaries including former presidents and vice presidents. Driscoll said their
protection of the Dalai Lama was the highlight of his duties with Rex. The two remain the longest serving K9 team in
 UWPD history. Rex will be cremated and buried with full honor at a later date.
  submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA