Ala. governor signs law protecting K-9s, police horses
The bill will criminalize harassing or interfering with the duties of the animal or the handler
By Sebastian Kitchen
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Surrounded by some of Alabama’s top canine cops and rescue dogs, Gov. Robert Bentley signed a bill on Wednesday aimed at protecting those animals used in law enforcement.
His bill, which goes into effect in August, will criminalize harassing or interfering with the duties of the animal or the handler, and assaulting, injuring, killing or attempting to kill the dogs and other animals such as horses used in law enforcement.
“These dogs are very important, not only in police work, but in rescue,” Bentley said. “They’re well-trained, and we need to make sure they’re protected. In Alabama, we didn’t truly have a law to protect them like they do in other states.”
K-9 praised ‘hero’ for snatching ax away from drunk thug
K-9 Rossi leapt 8 feet into the air and grabbed the ax in his mouth before spitting it out and detaining the suspect
European Union News
BOUGHTON, London — When a man was seen wielding an axe in a quiet Nottinghamshire street, anxious residents naturally called police.
PC Matt Rogers and his dog Rossi arrived at Bentinck Close, Boughton, moments later and residents watched in their pajamas as the Belgian Shepherd/Malinois cross sprang into action and disarmed the suspect.
Rossi leapt 8ft into the air and grabbed the axe in his mouth before spitting it out and detaining Adrian Dowdall so PC Rogers could make an arrest.
The 36-year-old, of Bentinck Close, Boughton, was jailed after pleading guilty to possession of an offensive weapon in public. He was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court last Friday to 160 days in jail.
Judge Michael Stokes praised seven-year-old Rossi’s bravery during the incident.
The 32kg pooch and handler PC Rogers had been on patrol in Ollerton in the early hours of 24 November 2012 when they got the call.
PC Rogers said: “When we arrived there were no signs of a disturbance. I was going to get out and have a quick look on my own, but because it was such a nice night I decided to get Rossi out to stretch his legs.
“It wasn’t long before we saw our target.
“Rossi is trained to detain offenders, not disarm them. I think he thought it was a toy. It happened in an instant. He went straight for it, spat it out and detained the man.
“It was only afterwards that I realised the gravity of the situation. It was quite a big axe.
“Rossi just loves the job so much that he sees no limits.
“Once we’d made the arrest that I noticed we’d had an audience with a number of residents having come out of their homes in their pyjamas to watch.
“This case just shows how effective and important police dogs can be.”
PC Rogers has had Rossi since he was 14-months-old and he’s now looking forward to spoiling him rotten when he retires in September.
He said: “He’s a big dog and has got a few health issues these days, but this job just shows he’s still got it in him.
“Once he retires I’ll be keeping him to make sure he’s looked after and given all the care he needs.”
The K-9’s police work and life were cut short by a sever disease, but he was seen off properly.
PLYMOUTH, Mass. — Minutes before he was euthanized Friday, a German Shepherd who had served two years with the Plymouth Police was saluted by members of his department.
Kaiser, who was recently diagnosed with severe kidney disease, was honored for his dedicated service at the animal hospital and again at a pet cemetery Friday, according to the Enterprise.
“To my boys in blue. Never in my career have I ever been so proud. You outdid yourselves today. I could not have asked for a better send off,” Kaiser’s handler, Officer James Lebretton, posted on his Facebook page.
Lebretton said that although Kaiser’s duty on the police force was cut short, “he made a huge impact that will never be forgotten.
“I feel privileged to have had a front row seat to witness his bravery and heroic actions while serving the people of Plymouth and my brothers and sisters in blue.”
A photo caught Ky. Officer Jason Ellis’ K-9, Figo, saying a final goodbye
BARDSTOWN, Ky. — A photo taken at an officer’s funeral service shows his dedicated K-9 partner saying a last goodbye by putting his paw up on the casket.
Officer Jason Ellis, 33, was killed driving home from his shift in uniform when he pulled over to pick up debris on the roadside and was ambushed May 25. He was found on an exit ramp with a bullet wound and little evidence leading to a suspect.
The department’s only K-9 officer was mourned by his family, friends and department Thursday. A photographer snapped a photo of his K-9 partner, Figo, looking mournful as he brushed the casket with his paw.
“Figo was almost giving him that final hug goodbye. I think that picture brought more tears than anything,” Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin told the Daily News.
“Ellis knew that Figo was a great partner. When you are a canine cop you have one of the best partners in the world. He had the dog for several years and his boys basically grew up with Figo around.”
Figo was retired after his partner’s death and is now living with Ellis’ family, according toToday.
After two tours overseas, Zeva wasn’t ready for early retirement, especially when her skills are still needed.
Kris Van Cleave
PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. – Prince George’s County’s newest police recruit is hardly a rookie. Zeva is a seasoned veteran. She’s a 5-year-old black lab and a bomb dog from the military.
Zeva did two six-month tours in Afghanistan with the Marine Corps. But with the war effort winding down the military has more dogs than it needs. So even though Zeva has several good years ahead of her, she was headed for early retirement.
“She’s been bred and trained to work, she loves to work,” said Cpl. Geoffrey Brown, Prince George’s County Police K-9 Handler. “For her, just sitting at home on the couch, I don’t think she’d be happy.”
ABC7 was invited to attend Zeva’s first day of field training with her handler. As part of the exercise, officers hid several simulated explosive devices in cars parked in a County parking lot, as well as in an open field. Zeva was then sent to search the parking lot. She found all the hidden devices.
The County police has claimed two former military bomb dogs, Zeva and Slick – also an Afghanistan war vet.
If the county was starting from scratch to buy a dog and train the dog, it’s about $30,000. But dogs like Zeva cost $5 and will be trained in a few weeks.
With the Boston bombings still on people’s minds, Zeva and Slick give the County police five bomb dogs ready to serve, allowing the K-9 unit to cover more ground more quickly and be better able to handle big events like Redskins games.
“They are invaluable, invaluable,” said Cpl. Scott Allen, Prince George’s County Police K-9 Handler. “With the changing world you never know what threats you are going to come up against day to day.”
Threats these dogs have already faced on a battlefield far away, with skills they’ll use to keep the County they now call home safe.
An Otsego man May 6 allegedly fought with police and a K9 officer after threatening to kill multiple acquaintances at a Nowthen home.
Ivan Ivanovich Revenko
Ivan Ivanovich Revenko, 35, was arraigned May 9 in Anoka County District Court on five felony charges, including two counts of second-degree assault and one count each of fourth-degree assault causing substantial bodily harm to a public safety dog and obstructing legal process.
Bail was set at $200,000.
According to the criminal complaint, multiple police agencies responded to a Nowthen home the evening of May 6 because an adult man was threatening to kill multiple people with a large knife. Authorities found Revenko smoking outside and he matched the description given to dispatch.
Revenko allegedly pulled a large knife from under his coat and walked toward to officers. At one point he did throw the knife a short distance away, but still went after the officers and gave one Anoka County Sheriff’s Office deputy a bloody nose, according to the complaint. Officers shot Revenko with a Taser multiple times, but it appeared to have no effect on him because he was wearing a leather jacket, said Lt. Paul Lenzmeier of the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office.
Anoka County Sheriff’s Office K9 officer Major
Deputy Cullen Czech released the sheriff’s department’s K9 officer Major, but Revenko choked the dog and broke his tooth, according to the complaint.
Officers were eventually able to subdue Revenko and arrest him.
A woman inside the Nowthen home allegedly told police that her family knows Revenko from a distant family relationship and that he had wanted to marry her years ago.
Revenko allegedly showed up at the home May 6 and made threats to kill her, her husband and her father.
He allegedly had a long knife and grabbed her at one point while threatening them; her father running around parked cars to avoid Revenko.
He may be the newest officer on Washington Township’s police force, but it’s unlikely this rookie will be sent on a coffee run anytime soon.
Lync, the township’s newest K-9 officer and his partner Officer Kris Hice graduated from the John “Sonny” Burke Police K-9 Academy in Atlantic County last Friday after 16 weeks of hands-on training.
And while they’ve only been working together for five months, Hice said as he starts hitting the streets with his new partner, he has no doubt the rookie has his back.
“No matter where I go, I have back-up,” Hice said as Lync switched between playfully jumping against his chest and keeping watch on the goings on at the police station’s parking lot on Friday afternoon. “He doesn’t ask questions, doesn’t say ‘Why are we doing this?’ He’s 100 percent ready to go.”
The 2-year-old German Shepherd isn’t just the newest member of the police department, he’s also the newest member of Hice’s family.
“He’s adjusted to the family quickly —my kids and my two other dogs,” said Hice, a big “Rocky” fan who named Lync after one of the fictitious boxer’s turtles. “He’s like a regular house dog, but when it’s time for work, it’s time for work.”
Hice, an 11-year veteran of the department, said he’s always loved dogs and partnering with a K-9 is something he’s always wanted to do.
“The [K-9 handlers] here love what they do, and I wanted to try and do it,” he said.
Lt. Pat Gurcsik, who oversees the township’s K-9 program, said it was Hice’s “exemplary record” and time serving the department that made him the perfect candidate to become a K-9 handler, beating out five or six other officers who applied for the position. During his weeks and weeks of training, Lync and Hice worked mostly on obedience and tracking skills, and Hice said his new partner’s ability to track scents from 700 yards away, persistence in finding access to blocked targets and 100 percent accuracy blew him away.
Ptl. Kris Hice and his new K-9 partner, Lync, of the Washington Township Police Department, Friday, May 10, 2013. (Staff Photo by Brad Kingett/South Jersey Times)
“He’s pretty smart, and as great as it is, it’s only going to get better,” Hice said.
The cost of the nearly $7,000 price tag for Lync was donated by local resident and business owner Harry Vankawala afterCpl. Mike Conti’s K-9 partner Bach had to be put to sleep in January after battling cancer.
It’s the fourth dog the 30-plus year resident has donated to the department’s K-9 program, which is not included in the department’s budget and relies entirely on outside funding, since 1989.
“I loved the K9 unit from the beginning,” said Vankawala, who was honored at the academy graduation for his dedication to the department. “It is the safety of the community and the safety of the police officer also. It’s two things.”
Hice couldn’t agree more.
“Once people know there’s a dog here, it’s the most evening force,” he said. “It changes the game, people listen more, stop being unruly.”
That’s one of the reasons the K-9 unit is crucial for the department, said Gurcsik.
“Our K-9s are awfully busy. They’re always busy answering calls here in town and backing officers up,” Gurcsik said. “There’s one K-9 assigned to each platoon, so there’s a K-9 on duty 24 hours a day.”
A four-run kennel to house the dogs is currently in the works, after a successfulfundraising social in March raised more than $15,000 of the roughly $20,000 cost of the kennel. He said local trade unions have already volunteered to do much of the construction of the kennel, which will have air conditioning and heat, at no cost. Gurcsik said it’s important to have a place where officers who are on vacation or tied up in the station can house their partners and know they’re safe.
Currently, a dog whose handler is on vacation is housed at a kennel in a public works facility in Deptford. With blue prints currently being drawn up, Gurcsik said they’re aiming for a July start date on the construction of the kennel. It’s important to keep the dogs separate, he said, since they can be aggressive toward other K-9 officers.
Lync, who is currently trained to track scents of suspects, artifacts, missing children or any individual police need to locate, and Hice will be going back to the academy for a 12-week training course in narcotics detection in September.
In the meantime, Hice said the connection they’ve built will only improve as they work together patrolling the township.
“The bond grows stronger and stronger as I get to know him better, and he gets to know me,” he said.
Westbrook officer, K-9 credited with saving life of woman who attempted suicide
WESTBROOK, Maine — Westbrook police Officer Phil Robinson and his K-9, Roxie, were credited with saving the life of a woman who was attempting suicide Saturday evening, the department said in a press release Sunday.
At about 10 p.m. on Saturday, Westbrook police responded to a report that a suicidal person had run into the woods off Andover Road. The distraught 25-year-old woman had made one suicide attempt and fled from people who were trying to assist her, the press release said. Robinson and Roxie were able to locate the woman quickly and interrupt a second suicide attempt. The woman was taken to Maine Medical Center by Westbrook Rescue.
Roxie was able to track the woman and located her well away from where she had initially been reported.