Friday, June 1, 2007

Police K-9s Good And Bad

Police Officer and Retired K-9 Are ''Partners for Life''

Officer Michael Erwin and his K-9 partner, Banook, display a plaque received from Chief Dorene Thomas. Photo Credit: Julie RobertsJulie Roberts, reporting for the Pinellas Park Beacon, wrote that "Mayor Bill Mischler and the City Council were present recently as man and dog took center stage in the City Hall meeting room. Both ''police officers'' stood at attention to receive the award recognizing five years of dedicated service. Chief Doreen Thomas held out a hand – that was immediately licked by the grateful recipient, whose partner smiled proudly.

"With that solemn ceremony, Banook the K-9 dog, partner to Officer Michael Erwin, officially retired and was transferred from active duty to family pet status. ''Not go home with me? Not be my partner for the rest of his life? That was never an option. I would not have let it happen,'' said Erwin, a K-9 field training officer and an 11-year veteran of the force. Outside city hall after the ceremonies, Erwin relaxed and soothed the anxious dog. The response was immediate. Banook, a sable-coated German shepherd, twisted his head around and saturated the officer with trust and adoration.

" ''For the last five years, it’s just been Banook and me, 24/7,'' said Erwin, who left the K-9 unit and returned to patrol. ''His big reward, what made him happy, was earning my approval and my reward. Now it’s my turn. That’s what we do in this business. That’s what you do in life. You look after each other.'' "

Read the whole story of Banook and his Partner here.

The Flip Side Is Considerably Less Happy

A 26-year veteran of the Miami-Dade County Police Department, and 23-year member of the police K-9 unit, has been charged with animal cruelty in the alleged kicking death of his K-9 partner, a 4-year-old German shepherd named Duke. Sargent Allen Cockfield, who has been on paid administrative leave since the June 2006 incident, surrendered to authorities Wednesday [30 May 2007] on charges of animal cruelty and killing a police dog, a felony. He was released after posting $6,000 bail and has been relieved of duty without pay.

The story has received wide coverage from numerous news agencies. For a special insight to the case, read this article on Miami Herald reporter Ellie Brecher's blog, Crazy for Critters. Apparently, soon after the K-9's death, a number of people and agencies received an anonymous e-mail that detailed the alleged events leading to the dog's death, including, ''Duke was on a leash at his partner's side. He barked at a time when his partner, Sgt. Cockfield, did not want him to. He was then strung up by his neck and kicked repeatedly. Duke let out a prolonged yelping cry, shook and went limp. When put down on the ground he died IMMEDIATELY.''

No matter how this happened, it is dreadful.

1 Comment:

Sue said...

K9's are treated the same way Cockfield treated Duke. A few die on the field, the rest go through torture over and over again. I worked in it, and they are still doing it in 2016.