With all of the media coverage surrounding our police officers who are wounded or killed in the line of duty in recent years, there’s an important part of law enforcement that we’re also tragically losing – our K9s.
They aren’t just man’s best friend. These K9s also serve and protect.
They are loyal. Fierce. Loving. They will die to protect their handlers. And unfortunately, they sometimes do.
Today, we pay tribute to these K9s who have fallen so far in 2019. Special thanks to Officer Down Memorial Page for continuing to track those we’ve lost so they are not forgotten.
Able was a male Labrador Retriever. The 6-year-old K9 was sickened after being exposed to an unknown substance during an explosives detection training deployment in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday, December 26, 2018.
He became ill and experienced renal failure. His condition became worse and 10 days later, he died of complications.
Able had been with the United States Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, where he’d worked for five years as an explosive detection canine.
His End of Watch was Saturday, January 5, 2019
K9 Haas served with the Duluth Police Department in Minnesota. He was a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois who had been on the job for two years.
In January, Haas and his handler responded to a report of a barricade involving a domestic violence suspect in the 1000 block of West Skyline Parkway.
The suspect barricaded himself inside of the home as officers arrived at the scene. Negotiators tried talking him out, but he opened fire – killing K9 Haas and wounding an officer.
Police returned fire and the suspect was found dead inside the home a short time later.
K9 Haas was certified in narcotics detection and patrol.
His End of Watch was Sunday, January 13, 2019.
K9 Chucky was a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois who had served with the Bexas County Sheriff’s Office in Texas for four years. He was trained in narcotics detection and patrol.
In January, he and his handler were engaged in a vehicle pursuit in the area of West Loop 1604 and Highway 151. After the vehicle stopped in Bexar County, K9 Chucky was deployed to apprehend the suspect. He managed to bite the man before the man pulled out a handgun and fatally shot him. Other deputies returned fire, wounding the man.
His End of Watch was Friday, January 25, 2019
K9 Defender served with the Railway Police Department in California. He was shot and killed by his handler after being mistaken for a coyote in the area of Bena Road and Neumarkel Road in Kern County.
Defender’s handler had placed him in their patrol vehicle before going on a foot patrol, but somehow Defender got out of the car. He approached his handler, who had just been briefed on recent sightings of coyotes in the area. His handler was started, mistook Defender for a coyote and shot and killed him.
His End of Watch was Thursday, February 7, 2019
K9 Doby was a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois / German Shepherd mix who served with the Fairfax County Police Department in Virginia for two years. He was certified in patrol and narcotics detection.
He and his handler had tracked two robbery suspects in the 2000 block of Arlington Drive in the Mount Vernon area. K9 Doby was trying to reacquire their scene when he collapsed with a medical emergency. His handler tried to give him CPR and rushed him to an emergency vet clinic, but was unable to be revived.
His End of Watch was Friday, February 22, 2019
So Far In 2019
In addition to the five K9s who have died in the line of duty so far in 2019, we’ve also lost 32 police officers.
- Accidental – 1
- Automobile crash – 3
- Duty related illness – 1
- Gunfire – 13
- Accidental gunfire – 1
- Heart attack – 3
- Motorcycle crash – 1
- Struck by vehicle – 7
- Vehicular assault – 2
Let us not forget them.
A Police Officer’s Prayer: (Author Unknown)
Oh Almighty God,
Whose Great Power and Eternal Wisdom Embraces the Universe,
Watch Over All Policemen and Law Enforcement Officers.
Protect Them from Harm in the Performance of Their Duty to Stop Crime, Robberies, Riots, and Violence.
Help Them Keep Our Streets and Homes Safe Day and Night.
We Recommend Them to Your Loving Care Because Their Duty is Dangerous.
Grant Them Your Unending Strength and Courage in Their Daily Assignments.
Protect These Brave Men and Women,
Grant Them Your Almighty Protection,
Unite Them Safely with Their Families After Duty Has Ended.