(RightWing.org) – Police departments invest considerable time and money when they decide to acquire a police dog, or K9, a homophone of the word “canine.” A prospective dog must receive basic obedience training from its handler, typically an experienced police officer. Then, their specialized instruction can take from eight months to a year, depending on whether they are assigned to patrol, detection, or tracking duties — or a combination. They must also undergo regular continuing education to hone their skills. Sadly, a K9 recently died during a police training incident in Georgia.
On June 6, the Cobb County Police Department (CCPD) issued a statement advising that K9 Chase, a Belgian Malinois, died in the line of duty the previous day. His handler, Officer Neill, placed the police dog in his patrol car in the K9’s kennel during an active shooter training event at a local high school. However, the vehicle’s air conditioning system malfunctioned for some reason, and “the temperature quickly rose” in the vehicle.
Officer Neill found Chase unresponsive in the patrol car and started administering “life-saving measures.” Other officers assisted along with Cobb County Fire Department personnel, who were also attending the training exercise. Officials transported K9 Chase to an emergency veterinary facility. However, K9 Chase later died from heat-related injuries despite their best efforts.
Ironically, Chase was named after a fallen Locust Grove officer named Chase Maddox, who died in the line of duty in February 2018, six months before Chase was born in Hungary.
The CCPD concluded its statement by reporting that Chase was a beloved member of the department who will be missed “forever… by us all.”
A few minutes later, the CCPD issued a supplemental statement advising that the department had opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the failure of the patrol car’s air conditioning system. The report also confirmed that several K9 officers attended the session and had been checking on their dogs during their 15-minute breaks. The sessions were 45 minutes, meaning the dogs were checked at least once per hour.
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