CENTRAL FALLS, RI – Police officers forge strong friendships with those they work with, especially their partners. Few bonds are stronger than between Police K9 Handlers and their dogs.
Sadly, the Central Falls Police Department announced in September that one of their retired dogs had to be laid to rest.
K9 Axel had been assigned to work with Officer Decristoforo. When Axel retired five years ago, Decristoforo adopted him and kept him in his home with his family while the K9 enjoyed retirement.
Friends of Central Falls Animals Facebook page posted about Axel’s life and passing:
“I don’t even know where to start. Seeing this photo hurts. Knowing he is no longer here hurts. Knowing his partner in life will no longer have him at his side hurts!
“Axel was all business on the streets. He loved to work and he actually worked a bit older than most K9’s because he just had the drive to keep going.
‘He did a phenomenal job at keeping the streets safe, and he always made sure our officers were safe regardless as to how dangerous a situation was. He wouldn’t have hesitated to give his life to save the life of a fellow officer, especially his partner, Officer Decristoforo.
“Axel was Officer Decristoforo’s 1st working K9 and Axel came to him with some years under his belt on the job. I’m not sure if anyone was certain that Axel would take to having a new partner in a new city, but these two were instantly best friends who were sure to have each other’s back.”
The Central Falls Police Department announced Axel’s passing on Facebook:
“The Central Falls Police Department mourns the loss of our former K-9, Axel as the men and women of the department send their condolences to Officer Decristoforo, who lost his former partner.
Although Axel retired five years ago, we want to thank him again for his service to the agency and the community of Central Falls.”
The connection between a handler and K9 cannot be fully explained to someone who has never been a K9 handler.
When an officer is first assigned a dog, typically, they take that dog with them on calls for a few weeks for a bonding period. This is the time when both the dog and the handler get to know one another.
If they make a good fit, they go through patrol dog training, drug training, and other certification courses.
K9 training schools can last for several hundred hours and are, at times, grueling. It is common for new canine handlers at some point in the training to get frustrated and want to give up. Along the way, if things click for both the handler and the dog, they get certified to work.
Police dogs go almost everywhere with their handlers. The K9s get excited each time the emergency lights are activated, each time the officer talks on the radio, and each time the officer gets out of the car to speak with someone. These dogs watch everything the officer does, always alert in case a handler gets into trouble and the K9 has to come to the rescue.
Officer Decristoforo, Law Enforcement Today sends our condolences. Rest in peace K9 Alex, we will take it from here.
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Watch: K9 officer stabbed 13 times by violent criminal – refuses to let go until the other officers were safe
August 22, 2020
LAS VEGAS, NV – Man’s best friend also happens to be a four-legged hero after a criminal pulled a knife on police this year.
The incident went down when police pulled over a subject on a traffic stop.
The male ended up exiting his vehicle with a large machete and charged at an officer who was still in his vehicle. The officer reversed and the subject fled.
A K9 officer released his dog to apprehend the suspect who stabbed the dog. Now, the video footage from the incident has been released and obtained by 8 News Now.
On April 13th, Las Vegas Metro Police Officer Vargus Berbe noticed that the vehicle driven by the suspect, now identified as Jeffrey Holland, had an expired license plate.
Berbe attempted a traffic stop on the vehicle who continued to drive until he entered the parking lot of an apartment complex.
When the vehicle stopped, Holland jumped out of the vehicle and had a large machete. Berbe testified in court:
“Once he got out with the large machete he was approaching my car, pointing at me and approaching my car in a fast pace. I ultimately threw the car in reverse, the patrol vehicle, and immediately floored it so I ended up in the middle of Cambridge on the street.”
Holland then ran into an apartment trying to hide from officers.
Berbe called for back up and Metro Officer Nick Bachman, with police K9 Kimura, was one of the officers who responded. Officers attempted to talk Holland out of the apartment and peacefully surrender to them.
However, Holland had other plans as he opened the door armed now with a large knife.
Officers began giving several commands to Holland to drop the knife and go to the ground, all of which he ignored. Berbe testified that Holland:
“…is holding it [knife] in a manner where he is, he’s holding it pretty much to his side raising it and he is challenging officers to approach him.”
Bachman then testified:
“In my mind I felt that if I did not deploy the dog probably somebody was going to get stabbed, one of my officers was going to get stabbed, or ultimately we would have to shoot the suspect.”
Based on these reasons, Bachman released K9 Kimura to physically apprehend Holland, this is the point where the video starts.
At the beginning, there is no audio, and LET warns you – it’s graphic.
K9 Kimura did exactly what he was trained to do, immediately left the side of his handler, and physically took hold of the suspect.
The suspect fell to the ground with K9 Kimura still holding onto him. It is at this point that Bachman notices something is wrong.
“I see him pulling Kimura down towards his chest with his right hand and I saw his left hand come up with the large knife and stab my dog.”
In the video, you can clearly see this happening and hear the dogs vocal reactions. Amazingly, K9 Kimura did not release Holland and continue to hold onto him until Bachman recalls him.
The man who stabbed K9 Kimura 13 times Monday night has been released from jail.
57yr old Jeffrey Holland who was charged w/ felony resisting, attempt to kill police animal &more was released by a judge & is free until his June court date.
— Christina M. Roof (@Christina_Roof) April 18, 2020
Once the dog is recalled, officers tase Holland and were able to take him into custody without further incident. Once he was in custody, Bachman inspected K9 Kimura’s injuries.
Bachman said that there “was about a six-inch deep hole that you could almost put your fist inside of,” on the back of his neck. He also saw bite marks from Holland near K9 Kimura’s eyes and nose.
K9 Kimura was rushed to an emergency vet where he underwent emergency surgery and thankfully recovered. After a round of physical therapy and a few weeks to heal, K9 Kimura returned to full duty roughly six weeks after being viciously stabbed by Holland.
— Las Vegas News (@LasVegas_NV_USA) April 16, 2020
Holland remained in custody for various charges until he was released by a judge pending his court date in June.
Thankfully, Holland was indicted on August 5th for intimidating a public officer, assault on a protected person with use of a deadly weapon, resisting a public officer with use of a deadly weapon, and mistreatment of a police animal.
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