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2010 - Present Tributes For Police And Military K9 Handlers

Note :  Some of these tributes are for police canine officers that were killed in the line of duty and some for officers that died while off duty. Also included are military canine handlers that were killed during wars.



Flashing star on both sides of officer name indicates both officer and K9 were killed in line of duty

Officer David Yoo (RET)

February 11, 2018 - Dennis, Massachusetts - Age 72

Retired Dennis Police Patrol Officer David Yoo died on February 11, 2018.  Officer Yoo served on the Dennis Police Department as first a Special Police Officer and then was appointed as a full time Patrol Officer in 1977. Officer Yoo served as a K9 officer for most of his career, receiving numerous letters of commendation and thanks for his K9 work from members of the community, as well as the department, and organizations for which he and his K9 partners performed demonstrations.

Officer Eric Joseph Joering

February 10, 2018 - Westerville, Ohio- Age 39

Officer Eric Joering, 39, was shot and killed on 2/10/18 in Westerville, Ohio while responding to a 911 hang-up call regarding a potential domestic situation. Officers received a 911 call at 12:02 p.m. and were at the scene responding to the hang-up call at 12:10.  Officer Anthony Morelli, 54, was also killed  as both entered the residence and were immediately met with gunfire. Joering, a 17-year veteran, was killed at the scene. Morelli, a 29-year veteran, died in surgery at Ohio State University Medical Center. The suspect was wounded and taken to an area hospital.  Officer Joering’s  K9 partner was “Sam”. The suspect, Quentin Lamar Smith, 30, was hospitalized and taken into custody and charged with two counts of aggravated murder. Officer Joering was three times recognized with the Exceptional Duty Award. He was also recognized with a commendation in 2013.In 2013, Joering was also recognized for his role in an investigation that led to the arrest of dealers with links to high-level drug traffickers in Mexico.  Joering's K9 partner Sam was in the back of the cruiser during the shooting. Officer Joering and K9 Sam visited several schools in Marion County. Officer Morelli was recognized in 2012 as the Westerville Division of Police Officer of the Year. In a 911 call around noon Saturday from Candace Smith's phone, a sob is heard before the line abruptly drops, according to recordings released by the City of Westerville. When an operator calls the number back, more sobs and wails can be heard before the line drops again. In another call about 10 minutes later, Candace Smith tells the operator she is hiding in the bushes outside their home. She expresses fear for her one-year-old daughter, who she says is in the apartment with her husband. "Please help, please help, please help," she cries. "My husband ... he shot the police officers. Please hurry up." On September 14, 2017, Candace Smith called police reporting that while her husband was moving out, he was drunk and "doing something to her car," according to an incident report released by the city. Then, on November 29, 2017, Candace Smith visited the Westerville Police Department to inquire about protection orders, according to another incident report. She told police that she was not getting along with her husband, and that when she threatens to leave he tells her that he will kill her, their daughter and himself, the report says. She left the department to pick up her daughter from day care without taking action against him, the report states. About 30 minutes later, Quentin Smith called police to their home after Candace had locked him out, the report states. The two got into an argument after Candace accused him of cheating on her and giving her a sexually transmitted disease. Quentin Smith denied the allegations and refused to leave despite his wife's request that he do so, the report states. The officer who responded to the scene recommended that Candace stay with her daughter in a different part of the home. Officer Joering's K9 partner was retired and given to his family. Eric is survived by his wife Jami, and his daughters Eva (12),Elena (11). and Ella (6). Donations be made to COPS (Concerns of Police Survivors), P.O. Box 3199, Camdenton, MO, 65020.

Quentin L. Smith, 30, of Westerville has been charged with two counts of aggravated murder of a law enforcement officer.  Gerald A. Lawson III, 30, of Westerville Heights, faces a federal charge for allegedly supplying Smith with the gun used to kill the two officers. 


Spc. William E. Jones

January 6, 2018 - Vail, Arizona- Age 21

Spc. Robert W. Jones, 21, died on his birthday while serving in the Army in Kosovo on 1/6/18  at Camp Bondsteel, where he served as a military police working-dog handler. His death is under investigation and no further details were available, the Army said. Jones joined the Army in August 2015 and was assigned to the 18th Military Police Brigade in April 2016. He served as part of NATO’s Kosovo Forces, a peace-support operation that began after the 1999 bombing campaign to end the regime of Slobodan Milosevic. Before shipping overseas Jones had trained at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and in San Antonio, Texas. 

Officer Craig E. Lehner

October 13, 2017 - Buffalo, New York - Age 34



Officer Craig E. Lehner,34, with the Buffalo Police went missing on diver training in the Niagara River off Broderick Park on 10/13/17 and his body recovered on 10/17/17 after a five day search of the river.. Divers, in pairs of two, were conducting search patterns on the river bottom. Search teams were using "robotic vehicles with cameras" to try and find the missing officer. The Air One helicopter from the sheriff's office was used in the air. Cadaver search dogs brought in from the state Federation of Rescue Teams were also used on the shore and on boats in the hope that they can provide clues and narrow the area where the officer went missing. In addition to the agencies on the scene, a piece of "extremely sophisticated sonar technology" that normally is used by the U.S. Navy is being flown to Buffalo from the New York Police Department by a State Police Aviation Unit to assist in the search, Lehner went into the Niagara River at the foot of West Ferry Street during a training exercise 10/13/17 but did not come out. The search for Lehner, a police diver and full-time K-9 Unit officer, started at about 12:50 p.m. on 10/13/17 and stretched until 9 p.m., with portable flood lights on the shore. Four rescue boats equipped with sonar conducted a grid search in the swift waters off Broderick Park, and underwater robots scoured the river's bottom. Lehner's fellow divers repeatedly searched the 25-foot deep water off Bird Island Pier, but they were called to shore at dusk to avoid the possibility of more tragedy. The water moves anywhere from 12 to 15 knots, and under the water here there was a number of serious  obstacles, debris, downed trees, rocks, shopping carts, cars, over the years things found themselves in the water right there. It is extremely dangerous, and that's why our teams train for these situations. Divers don upward of "40 to 80 pounds" of additional equipment when they dive. That just adds to the challenge. Police explained that the team trains there because practicing in the swift currents enables them to be prepared for hazardous missions. Visibility beneath the water is about 10 feet, at the time the team was training. First responders from about 15 agencies, including from Canada, were taking part in the search. Even Shield, Lehner's 4-year-old German shepherd K-9 Unit partner, was at the scene for a short time. Lehner named the dog Shield last year in honor of Buffalo Police Officer James A. Shields, 36, who was killed in the line of duty in October 2002 when his patrol vehicle crashed into a tree on Delaware Avenue while he was responding to a robbery call. Lehner, who is not married, joined the police department in 2008 and served in the Army National Guard with deployments to Iraq and the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.  The U.S. Coast Guard, which provided a 45-foot response boat to the search effort. A Coast Guard helicopter from Detroit also aided in the search along with the Air One helicopter from the Erie County Sheriff's Office and another from the U.S. Border Patrol.


Walter Mallinson (RET)

September 9, 2017 - Harrison, New York - Age 56

Retired K9 officer Walter Millinson, 59, who responded to Ground Zero died from cancer related to the response. Walter Mallinson died after a “long and courageous battle.   Before his retirement, Mallinson was a K-9 officer with the Harrison Police Department. Mallinson leaves behind a wife, daughter, and son,Trooper Sean Mallinson and Kaitlin Anne Mallinson.

Corporal Thomas Hannon

September 1, 2017 - Dover, Delaware - Age 42

Cpl. Thomas Hannon, 42, died on 9/1/17 surrounded by his family at Christiana Hospital. Hannon's death was the result of medical complications, stemming from a leg injury he suffered in the line of duty in 2012. Hannon served with Dover police since 2005. Hannon received the 2006 Officer of the Quarter award, two distinguished unit awards, a DUI enforcement award, numerous perfect attendance awards, and two life saving awards.  Hannon earned the life saving awards in 2008 when he helped save a woman after she stopped breathing and in 2009 when he rescued a handicapped woman from a burning home.

Sergeant Michael Pershall

August 22, 2017 - Modesto, California - Age 38


Sergeant Michael Pershall, 38, was killed on 8/22/17 when he was involved in a  vehicle vs bicyclist crash, He was off duty at the time and was a member of the Modesto Police Department. The accident occurred at 6:10 p.m. along Merle Avenue. Sergeant Michael Pershall was pronounced dead at the scene. CHP's investigation determined Matthew Gibbs, 32, of Modesto, was driving westbound in a Volkswagen, when he struck Pershall on his bicycle, ejecting him in the process. Gibbs' vehicle then jumped a curb, struck a fire hydrant and came to a stop.  Gibbs was taken into custody by CHP after he displayed signs of impairment. He was booked into the Stanislaus County Jail. Matthew Gibbs, was arrested at the crash scene and is being held without bail on homicide and DUI charges. Pershall was a 9-year veteran in law enforcement  worked in a variety of positions, including field training officer certified critical incident hostage negotiator and adviser to the Police Explorer Program. In Tuolumne County, he was on the sheriff’s SWAT team and was recognized as rookie of the year in 2008.  Sergeant Pershall served four years in Tuolumne County as a sheriff deputy before joining the Modesto Police Department. He had recently been promoted to Police Sergeant on Aug. 8. As a canine handler, Pershall was active in the department’s community outreach, providing canine demonstrations to schools and youth organizations. His most recent outing with his canine partner “Ike” involved visiting several block parties at this year’s National Night Out. Pershall is survived by his wife, Christine, and two sons of junior high and high school age.

Officer Matthew L. Hazelton

August 6 2017 - Dunkirk, New York - Age 39

Officer Matthew Hazelton, 39, of the Dunkirk Police Department. died on 8/6/17. He lost his battle to the sudden onset of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease which forced him to step away from his duties about six months ago. The department honored the fallen with a ceremonial end-of-service call, as his casket was lifted into a waiting hearse. In addition to being a K-9 officer, Hazelton served on the Dunkirk force for 14 and a half years, participating in the dive team, the SRT tactical team and most recently as the K9 officer with K9 Nico He was diagnosed with ALS around Christmas 2016, and was able to work a few more months. He enjoyed martial arts and earned a black in karate. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer L. (Carmello) Hazelton, whom he married Sept. 10, 2011; one daughter, Ava L. Hazelton. The family asks that memorials in Matt’s memory be made to the ALS Association Upstate New York Chapter, 135 Old Cove Road, Suite 213, Liverpool, NY 13090.

Illinois State Trooper- Ryan Albin

June 28, 2017 - Farmer City, Illinois - Age 37

Illinois State Police trooper, Trooper Ryan Albin , was killed in a crash on 6/28/17  involving his squad car while on duty with a semitrailer truck near Farmer City. The crash happened about 3:10 p.m. while on patrol on I-74. Trooper Albin was airlifted to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead from his injuries at 8:27 p.m. at  Carle Foundation Hospital. The truck driver, a 47-year-old Normal man, and his passenger, a 38-year-old Bloomington man, refused medical treatment, The preliminary investigation showed both vehicles were in slowed/stopped westbound traffic approaching a merge area ahead of a construction zone when the crash occurred. Albin joined the ISP in 2006 and worked as a canine officer assigned to District 6 in downstate Pontiac. His police dog, Biko, was in the back of the squad car at the time of the crash and was taken to the University of Illinois Emergency Veterinary Teaching Hospital with minor injuries.  Albin leaves behing a 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son.

Officer Sascha Naidoo

June 27, 2017 - KwaZulu-Natal, India - Age 45

Officer Sascha Naidoo, 45, A KwaZulu-Natal cop, was speared to death 0N 6/27/17 while rushing to the aid of a woman who was stabbed. Newcastle K9 Unit Warrant was responding to the incident along with other officers at Section 7P in Madadeni when he was fatally attacked. The woman had reportedly been stabbed by the suspect. "While approaching the suspect, it is alleged that the suspect stabbed Naidoo with a spear and  sustained serious injuries." Officer was rushed to a local hospital for treatment where he later died. "The 59-year-old assailant was overpowered and immediately placed under arrest."

Officer Tanner Kitelinger

June 9, 2017 - Burlington, Wisconsin - Age 27

Officer Tanner Kitelinger, 27, of the Burlington Police Department, died at his home on 6/9/17 due to medical issues stemming from diabetes. Kitelinger had been with the department since March 2015, had successfully managed his diabetes since his diagnosis at age 12. .”Kitelinger was the department’s canine handler, had trained and bonded with the Zander, the department’s canine unit. The two began patrolling together on May 7.

Officer Robert Allen Seich

June 6, 2017 - Roseville, California - Age 34

Officer Robert Seich, 34, died June 6, 2017 from brain cancerafter being in remission for the past 7 years. He was diagnosed with a Grade 2 Astrocytoma in 2008. In 2015. Seich suffered a seizure and doctors found that the tumor had returned. Seich stopped working for Roseville police in March of 2017. Bobby Seich joined Roseville Police Department in October 2014 after working 12 years in Florida for the Kissimmee Police Department Robert Seich while he was growing up joined Kissimmee Police Department in 2002 as a 911 dispatcher, becoming a patrol officer in 2005.  He leaves behind his wife Amber who he married in 2007 and 3 year old son RJ,

Corporal Francis Onekalet

June 5, 2017 - Hoima, Uganda - Age ?

Corporal Francis Onekalit attached to the Canine unit at Hoima Central Police station was killed in a car accident on 6/5/17 in the evening that also injured another officer, Sam Murura at approximately 6:00 p.m. Corporal Onekalit was driving a Toyota Premio when he lost control and hit an electrical pole. Onekalit died on spot while Murura sustained broken limbs and admitted to Hoima Regional Referral Hospital. The sniffer dog escaped unhurt. The two officers were returning from tracking thugs connected to a robbery in Kyangwali Sub County at Kyarushesha Police Post.

David Michael Simpson

June 1, 2017 - Mulberry, Florida - Age 35

David Simpson took his life on 6/1/17. He suffered from PTSD.  A deputy got there within a few minutes of his taking his life and first responders were there from another call but it was to late. His MWD Robson served faithfully in the U.S. Air Force from July 27, 2007 to February 11, 2014 as a Patrol and Explosive Detection Dog. His first duty duty station was Kunsan AFB in South Korea and then he was stationed at Yokota AFB in Japan. Next he was stationed in Iceland at Keflavik Navy Base. He was assigned to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany and has traveled extensively supporting U.S. and military interests and operations. His MWD Robson provided thousands of hours of exceptional explosive detection and random anti-terrorism measures in the warfighting mission. MWD Robson was deployed to Iraq for approximately seven months in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. During that time, he located a weapon cache and improvised explosive device materials which protected the lives of coalition forces. He searched several Iraqi polling locations with the Army ensuring Iraqi citizens had a safe place to vote. They protected Air Force One, the Vice President, the Secretary of Defense and many others. During his service to the Air Force while assigned to Spangdahlem Air Base, MWD Robson protected billions of dollars in Department of Defense assets and over fifty thousand military and civilian personnel. MWD Robson provided explosive detection for multiple distinguished visitor visits including the United States President in Rome, Italy and Lisbon, Portugal, and the United States Vice President in Beirut, Lebanon and Munich, Germany. When his MWD Robson became retired he went all the way to Germany himself  to pick him up for adoption. He leaves behind his wife Erin and three children, daughters Alexandrea and Madison along with a son Elijah.    


Special Agent Michael T. Walter
May 27, 2017 - Richmond, Virginia- Age 45

Special Agent Michael T. Walter , 45, was shot on 5/26/17 at approximately 7:25 p.m. in Richmond, Virginia and died shortly after 5:00 a.m. on 5/27/17, 9.5 hours later from a single gunshot wound to the head. He and several Richmond Police Department officers were conducting high visibility patrols in the Mosby Court public housing complex due to a recent trend of shootings and other crime. The Richmond Police Officer was in uniform and driving a marked Richmond Police SUV. Walter and a Richmond Police officer were conducting a traffic stop on a vehicle parked facing the wrong direction in the 1900 block and Redd Street in a public housing neighborhood in the city. As the Richmond officer spoke to the driver of the car, Walter walked up to the passenger side, where Ball was seated. and were talking with the driver, when the passenger shot Special Agent Walter.  Ball, 27, who was a passenger in the vehicle, fled the scene while the driver remained in the vehicle and was detained. A handgun was recovered near the car. Suspect, Travis Ball, was arrested early the following morning approximately 10.5 hours after the shooting by state police and U.S. Marshals at his residence in Northumberland County shortly after 6:00 a.m. on 5/27/17. He is being held without bond and is charged with one count of malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Additional charges are pending. Ball has a criminal history dating back to 2008. In Richmond, Ball was convicted in 2014 for two counts of assault and battery and destruction of property. In Lancaster County, Ball has previous convictions for destruction of property, public drunkenness, misdemeanor assault, destruction of property and cruelty to animals. Ball also had a hearing scheduled for June in Lancaster Circuit Court for a probation violation. Mosby Court, the neighborhood where the shooting occurred is considered one of the most violent and dangerous neighborhoods in Richmond and six of the 19 homicides that have occurred in the city this year have been in Mosby Court. Walter was an 18-year veteran of Virginia State Police. and a decorated veteran during his service with the USMC from 1989 to 1994. Special Agent Walter entered the Virginia State Police Academy in 1998 and graduated as a member of the 98th Basic Session in 1999.  As a trooper, he was assigned to the Virginia State Police Fairfax Division’s Area 48 Office – Springfield and the Richmond Division’s Area 6 Office – Powhatan.  In 2006, he joined the State Police Academy staff as a canine instructor.  In 2010, he was promoted to the rank of Special Agent and has been assigned ever since to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Richmond Field Office Drug Enforcement Section. Prior to joining the Virginia State Police we worked as a security officer at MVC Hospital and then served two years with the Virginia Division of Capitol Police. Walter leaves behind a wife Jamie and two sons and a daughter, ages 14, 9, and 6.

Travis Ball, was arrested 10.5 hours after the shooting by state police and U.S. Marshals at his residence in Northumberland County shortly after 6:00 a.m. on 5/27/17. He is being held without bond and is charged with one count of malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Additional charges are pending. Ball was denied bond on 5/30/17.  Just hours before the shooting ball was served with a warrent for assulting a 14 year old girl in January. Ball has a criminal history dating back to 2008. In Richmond, Ball was convicted in 2014 for two counts of assault and battery and destruction of property. In Lancaster County, Ball has previous convictions for destruction of property, public drunkenness, misdemeanor assault, destruction of property and cruelty to animals. Ball also had a hearing scheduled for June in Lancaster Circuit Court for a probation violation.

Detective John Sawyer  
April 23, 2017 - Suffield, Connecticut- Age 55


Detective John Sawyer, 55,  a member of the Connecticut State Police -Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit member died 4/23/17. Det. Sawyer, was a longtime resident of Suffield, CT. Det Sawyer passedd away suddenly at Bay State Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Sawyer's law enforcement career spanned 30 years, Det. Sawyer was a graduate of the 106th Training Troop and had retired on April 1, 2017 after an exemplary career. He was a Canine Handler of canines "Lily" and "Sophie.". He spent the last 15 years as a Detective and K-9 handler in the FEIU. John previously worked at Troop H -Hartford and Troop W – Bradley International Airport. ."Sawyer served as Past President of the Connecticut Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators, where he was awarded the Investigator of the Year Award and the Arnold Markle Award for Outstanding Service. Besides his wife Patricia, he is survived by his two children, Bryan J. Sawyer and Rebekah L. Sawyer. Donations may be made to: American Cancer Society, 825 Brook St - I-91 Tech Ctr., Rocky Hill, CT 06067, or the Connecticut Advanced Fire Investigation School, c/o CT IAAI, P.O. Box 3094, Vernon, Connecticut 06066.

Sheriff Sgt. Timothy Kitts  
April 13, 2017 - Ashland, Ohio- Age 51


Ashland County Sheriff Sgt. Timothy Kitts, 51, died unexpectedly at home on 4/13/17. He served 26½ years with the sheriff's office beginning June 7, 1991. Kitts worked as a special deputy, dispatcher, corrections officer and as a patrol deputy. He was promoted to sergeant on June 2, 2001 and became a K-9 handler in 2002. He was currently serving with K-9 Meeko as the day shift patrol sergeant. Meeko will be retired and remain with the Kitts family.

Deputy Curtis Allen Bartlett  
March 9, 2017 - Carroll County, Virginia - Age 32

Carroll County Deputy,  Curtis Allen Bartlett, 32, was killed while on duty in a crash on I-77 on 3/9/17. Bartlett was traveling west on Route 58 with his emergency lights and sirens on when he collided with a tractor-trailer making a left turn onto Route 58 from the I-77 Exit 14 ramp. The pursuit was initiated by a Carroll County Sheriff's Deputy at approximately 9:50 p.m.,Bartlett was wearing his seat belt. The tractor-trailer had the green light and was only traveling approximately 25 mph. The Deputy’s vehicle was unable to avoid the tractor-trailer and struck the rear tandem. The Sheriff’s Deputy died at the scene. The tractor-trailer driver, a 59-year-old man from Barren Springs, Virginia, was not injured. Bartlett came to that scene to help a fellow deputy and a trooper with an ongoing pursuit. The two people being chased were caught a short time later. He also was a certified K-9 handler and received other teaching certifications from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers. He was an accomplished pilot as well. He joined the department in 2013. Before coming to Carroll County, he served in the U.S. Army from November 2004 to July 2007. Prior to joining the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, Curtis also served a year as a patrol officer in Albemarle, N.C. He earned instructor certifications through the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) for firearms, Taser, and fitness training. Curtis was a certified K9 handler through the US Department of Defense.  He was also an accomplished pilot and in 2013 was recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for achieving FAA Airmen Certification and also know for muscle body building and  became a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer.Just three hours before a fatal crash Deputy Bartlett hosted a K9 demonstration with K9 Tyco at the VFW Grover King Post 1115 in Hillsville. Tyco was in the patrol car when it crashed during a pursuit, and he suffered minor injuries. He was taken to a local veterinary office for treatment and is in the care of another Carroll County Sheriff’s Office Canine Handler. Donations in memory of Curtis can be made to First Baptist Church or to Police Fitness. Curtis believed that health, strength, and fitness were vital to his duties as a law enforcement officer, and his mission was to take this message around the world. The purpose of Police Fitness will be to honor Curtis’ legacy by providing training, education, and supplementation to police officers through a series of initiatives in Curtis' honor. Donations to Police Fitness can be made via check to Police Fitness and mailed to 1024 E Stuart Drive, Galax, VA 24333 or made online at www.rspnutrition.com/policefitness

Officer Sherwin Cedeno  
February 27, 2017 - Claxton Bay, Trinidad- Age ?

Police Officer Sherwin Cedeno attached to the Caroni Canine Unit was killed in a car accident on 2/27/17 in Claxton Bay. Sherwin Cedeno was in a vehicle proceeding south along the Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway, when the car crashed on the Macaulay Flyover. Cedeno along with three female passengers were subsequently pulled out of the wreck. He was taken to the San Fernando General Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The other three passengers were listed in a serious condition.

Officer Jon Richey
February 10, 2017 - Greater Salt Lake, Utah - Age 52



Unified Police Officer Jon Richey, 52, was found dead on 2/11/17. A hero police officer who was shot in the line of duty during a foot pursuit with a convicted felon in January 2016. Richey is nationally known and recognized as a hero after a shooting on January 17. The shooting left Richey injured, and killed his colleague Officer Doug Barney. The suspect was also killed during the incident. Richey joined the Police Explorers at age 14 and was hired as a bank security guard at 17. Two years later, he became the youngest police officer in Utah when he joined the West Jordan PD at 19 years old. In 1988 he joined the Salt Lake City Police Department where he worked for nearly 20 years as a Detective Sergeant and K9 Trainer, developing the SLC Police Dogs into one of the top K9 units in the country and winning several competitions. In August of 2002, he encountered Brian David Mitchell and kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart at the Salt Lake City Library but Smart''s face was covered by a veil and she did not alert him that anything was wrong. After 7 more months of captivity and sexual assaults Smart was found in March of 2003. Officer Richey testified at Mitchell''s trial. He retired from the SLCPD in 2007 to go to work for the Salt Lake Unified Police Department as a K9 trainer and bloodhound handler, tracking down suspects with his partner Molly. He was working a patrol shift on Sunday January 17, when he was wounded in the shootout with Corey Lee Henderson. Some of the awards and commendations Jon received during his career include: The Medal of Honor, The Purple Heart, Two International Police K9 Championships (Germany, Canada), Four National Police K9 Championships, The International Police Dog Championships - First Place Award 1993, 1994, 1995 with his K9 Drago, the Distinguished Service Medal, Officer of the Month (twice), Meritorious Unit Citation, Distinguished Unit Citation, and over 25 letters of Commendation. 


Officer Joseph Nathaniel Crowder
December 12, 2016 - Boynton Beach, Florida - Age 44

Boynton Beach Police K9 Officer Joe Crowder, 44, died on 12/12/16 at JFK Medical Center after going out for a run. Officer Crowder was a 14-year veteran of the force and had been a member of the K9 unit since 2012. Crowder's famous partner, K9 Daxxx, had to retire last December due to health reasons. Daxxx had an illustrious career, with some major take-downs that made headlines. The dog tracked down murder suspect Michael Correa-Ortiz on Valentine's Day in 2013. Correa-Ortiz is now serving 60 years for killing Lyssa Moody and seriously injuring her husband in Tara Lakes. Daxxx also took down the driver of a car that had led police on a 50-mile chase from Miami Gardens. The chase took officers along Interstate 95 to Gateway Boulevard where one suspect ran from the car and jumped over a barrier wall. Daxxx chased the man down into some bushes in a nearby neighborhood. After Daxxx retired, Crowder became teamed up with K9 Iro, a 4-year-old Czech-Shepherd. In April, 2013, Crowder was named officer of the month for when he tracked down a man who was hiding from police after his alleged involvement in a fatal home invasion case. Before joining the Boynton Beach Police Department in June, 2002, Crowder served as a community service officer at the Chickasha Police Department in Oklahoma. Crowder served in the U.S. Army as a staff sergeant. Crowder was the father of two young boys, Jeremiah and Kaleb.

Officer Collin Rose
November 23, 2016 - Wayne State University- Age 29

Officer Collin Rose, 29, a Wayne State University Police officer, was shot in the head on 11/22/16 at approximately 6:45 p.m. while on patrol near campus and passed away on 11/23/16.  Rose  radioed to say he was investigating possible thefts of navigation systems from cars and SUVs, and was about to speak to someone apparently on a bike. Officer Rose called for back up at 6:31 p.m. Officers who arrived on the scene at 6:34 p.m. found the officer injured on the ground and transported him to Detroit Receiving Hospital. A woman who witnessed the shooting said it happened while Rose was attempting to apprehend someone and heard three shots. Officer Rose was trying to get him to put his arms behind his back. Rose left his two drug sniffing dogs in the vehicle, observing proper police procedure when he approached the suspect to question him. Officer Rose, was a  five-year veteran of the department. The station reported that a $5,000 reward was being offered for the recovery of the gun used in the shooting and was not shot with his own gun. His K9's names were Clyde and Wolverine.

Deangelo L. Davis, 31, of Detroit is charged with first-degree murder, murder of a police officer, felon in possession of a firearm and two counts of felony firearm, as well as being a habitual offender on 11/25/16. On 12/7/16 Prosecutors dropped charges against him in the killing of Wayne State University Officer Sgt. Collin Rose and eliminated as a suspect after a review of new evidence.

A reward of $10,000 is being offered by the ATF and $5.000 from the Detroit Dog Rescue for information that helps solve the case. On December 6, 2016 the DTE Energy contributed $15,000 which raised the reward to $30,000 and shortly after Crime Stoppers added another $2,500 to the reward.. On January 25, 2017, the reward was raised to $62,500 and shortly after again raised to $82,500. On February 4, 2017 the reward reached $105,000.

On 8/3/17, Raymond Durhamn, 60, was charged for the the murder of  Officer Collin Rose. Multiple felony counts were filed.  There was a DNA match that linked Rose’s murder with the shooting of two officers in southwest Detroit, allegedly by Durham. Durham was arraigned on the following counts: first degree premeditated murder, murder of a peace officer, possession of a firearm by a felon, and two counts of felony firearm. A plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf and a competency hearing was scheduled for Nov. 3.

Cpl. Michael Mitchell
October 3, 2016 - , Marana, Arizona - Age 39

Former police canine handler with the Sierra Vista Police, Michael Mitchell, 39, committed suicide on 10/3/16. Cpl. Mitchell was on paid leave while FBI were investigating allegations back in July of 2015. Mitchell was having sexual relations with a woman that started in May of 2015. Mitchell resigned in November of 2015 after it was discovered that he was having a sexual relationship with a confidential informant. Michael Mitchell resigned from the Sierra Vista Police Department in November of 2015. An internal investigation revealed that he removed evidence from a crime scene to protect an informant he had a sexual relationship with. Marana Police officers and Northwest Fire District personnel responded to the 1200 block of North Sabal Palm Way at about 2 p.m. after receiving a report of an unresponsive male. Mitchell was pronounced dead at his Marana home. Mitchell began working for the Sierra Vista Police Department in 2004 and served as the department's lead K9 handler for years. He was involved in the investigation and arrest of several drug dealers and other criminals. Mitchell's resignation came after Sierra Vista Police, acting on a tip from a man arrested on burglary charges, discovered text messages between the former officer and a confidential informant indicating they had a sexual relationship. Police also say Mitchell removed the woman's cellphone from a vehicle that was seized as evidence. In an interview with police, the informant denied ever having been paid for information she provided to Mitchell. At least 17 pending criminal cases that relied on testimony from Mitchell had to be dismissed once the investigation into his misconduct began. The police department also reviewed all of Mitchell's previous cases but found no misconduct.

Sgt. Ronald Dale Mathis Jr.
September 25, 2016 - Charleston, West Virginia - Age 51

Sgt. Ronald Dale Mathis Jr. of Charleston, WV, passed away on Sunday, September 25, 2016. He served the citizens of Kanawha County as a Deputy Sheriff for 20 years. Ronald was a master K9 trainer, certified in tracking, narcotic detection, apprehension, and bomb detection. He was nominated for the Top Cop Award in 2005. Those left to cherish his memory are children, Christin Mathis, Kelsey Mathis, Ronald Mathis III, and Zackary Mathis.and mother of his children, Jennifer Mathis; loving K9 partner DEA, Ronald was preceded in death by his first K9 partner, Bern. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to: Kanawha County Deputy Sheriff's Association, 301 Virginia St. E, Charleston, WV 25301, Attn: Adam Crawford, or The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 3 International Drive, Suite 200, Rye Brook, NY 10573.

PC. Carl Tyrrell
September 20, 2016 - South Yorkshire, England - Age 49

PC Carl Tyrrell, 49, a dog handler for South Yorkshire Police committed suicide on 9/20/16. He was found hanged at his home in Fitzwalter Road. He was recognized several times for his skill and bravery while working as a dog handler. He suffered from serious mental health issues, including anxiety and depression, relating to various aspects of his job and family life. This included having to reapply for his job three times due to cuts to the force and struggling to move on from the breakdown of his two earlier marriages.   Mr. Tyrrell had been hit hard by the death of his first police dog Atos, with whom he had won his awards, and had been badly affected when his second dog Cairo was taken away after two biting incidents - although he was allowed to keep another dog, Duke.

Officer Timothy James Brackeen
September12, 2016 - Shelby, North Carolina- Age 38

Officer Tim Brackeen, 38, who was shot on 9/10/16  at  approximately 12:20 a.m.  was taken to Cleveland Regional Medical Center and then taken to Carolinas Medical Center for treatment where he died from his wound on 9/12/16 at 11:42 a.m. Brackeen was shot in the line of duty in the area of Shelby’s Parkview Street, in Shelby North Carolina while searching for Irving Lucien Fenner Jr., 23, of Grover, North Carolina. The subject was wanted on outstanding warrants who had failed to show up to an August court date for misdemeanor charges of carrying a concealed weapon and marijuana possession.  Officer Brackeen was a 12-year veteran of the department and was wearing a bullet-resistant vest when shot in the torso,  Officer Brackeen was named the Shelby department’s officer of the year in 2012. He leaves behind his wife Mikel of eighteen years, and his four-year-old daughter, Daphne. and his K9 partner Ciko. Brackeen’s service was held at Keeter Stadium where approximately 7,000 people attended the service along with   Brackeen’s K9 partner who was retired from service following the memorial.The state offered a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the shooting before the suspect was captured. In lieu of flowers, Memorials can be made;Shelby Police Department K-9 Unit, PO Box 207,  Shelby NC 28151.

On 9/14/16 SWAT team members took 23-year-old Irving Lucien Fenner into custody at around 2:35 a.m. at an apartment in Coventry, Rhode Island. Fenner was taken to a hospital to treat a gunshot wound he suffered in the deadly incident with Brackeen. Deitria Morris was arrested as an accessory after the fact. On 9/22/16, Fenner, signed extradition waiver papers in Rhode Island court to return to Cleveland County to face a first-degree murder charge. On 10/3/16 Fenner made his first court appearence in Cleveland County, North Carolina. Fenner is being held without bond in the Gaston County Jail. Five other people have been charged for their alleged involvement in the case. Casey Fenner of New York and Deitra Morris of Shelby were each charged with accessory after the fact of first-degree murder, which is a Class C felony. Fenner’s uncle, Corry Peeler and his girlfriend Hope Wyman, are both charged with harboring a criminal which stem from “aid that they provided the suspect after the murder. Ashley Hamrick was charged with felony harboring a fugitive “for giving Fenner aid and comfort while he was subject to outstanding warrants for 1st degree burglary, robbery with dangerous weapon, and second degree kidnapping. Hamrick is accused of harboring Fenner, knowing he was wanted, when officer Brackeen attempted to serve warrants on him.

Special Agent De'Greaun Frazier
August 9,2016 - Jackson, Tennessee - Age 35

  Special Agent De'Greaun Frazier, 35, of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was investigating illegal drugs in Jackson, Tennessee, on 8/9/16 in the afternoon afternoon when he was shot and killed. TBI said the shooter tried to rob the undercover agent before killing him. TBI spokesman Josh Devine said this was the first TBI agent who has ever died in the line of duty. Frazier was in a car with an informant and another man conducting an undercover drug purchase. The other man, who was sitting in the back seat, pulled a gun and tried to rob Frazier and the informant, who were in the front seat, TBI spokesman Josh DeVine said. The gunman fired once, striking the TBI agent. Frazier was pronounced dead at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. Agent De'Greaun Frazier was was married, and he was a father." TBI said the man who killed agent Frazier was arrested a short time after the shooting. Frazier was formerly a Millington Police Officer and an officer for the University of Memphis. Frazier served in Millington for six years, including time as a K9 officer and a detective. He also worked for Shelby County Sheriff's Office.

Sgt.Calvin Wenceslao Aguilar
August 4, 2016  - Copperas Cove, Texas- Age 32
Sgt. Calvin Wenceslao Aguilar, 32, of Hayward, California was found unresponsive August 4 in Copperas Cove, Texas. Sgt. Aguilar,  entered active-duty service in October 2006 as a working dog handler. He was assigned to the 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood, since July 2013, according to a Fort Hood news release. Aguilar deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from December 2007 to March 2009 and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan from January 2012 to January 2013. Aguilar’s awards and decorations include the three Army Commendation Medals, Army Achievement Medal, two Army Good Conduct Medals, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with arrowhead device, Iraqi Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, two Overseas Service Ribbons, NATO medal, combat action badge, parachutist badge. He is survived by his daughter Isabella, his four legged son Nico and his wife Loralyn.
Officer John Ellis
July 2016  - Humberside, England - Age 68

Well known retired Scunthorpe policeman John Ellis died at a his home at the age of 68, after a long illness. Mr Ellis was a dog handler with the Humberside force based in Scunthorpe. He became a familiar and often welcome sight on the streets of the town with a succession of dogs named Dirk, Zeus, Jason, Jed and Heini. He was also a member of the firearms squad. He joined the force in 1969 His family have requested mourners if they wish to make donations to the Healthtree Foundation to help the work of the local Macmillan cancer nurses.

Deputy Anthony Joseph "TJ" Freeman
May 5 2016  - Macon, Georgia - Age 29  

Bibb County Deputy, Anthony Joseph “T.J.” Freeman, 29, was killed on 5/4/16 while pursuing a suspicious vehicle in Bloomfield Village in Georgia. Freeman's dog, K9 Bojar, was with him at the time of the crash but did not appear to be injured. Deputy Freeman was pronounced dead at the Medical Center, Navicent Health at 3:36 a.m. The accident happened on Columbus Road near Buena Vista Drive. Freeman's patrol vehicle was hit on the driver’s side by the suspect's vehicle, which came from Buena Vista Drive as Freeman was coming down Columbus Road. Freeman’s vehicle went off the road, coming to a stop in the front yard of a residence in the 2800 block of Columbus Road. Because of the recent burglaries and entering autos in recent weeks, investigators attempted to stop the vehicle and see what was going on.The driver, later identified as Montavious Kinder, 24, sped off and investigators pursued, calling for additional units to assist. Kinder was treated at Coliseum Northside Hospital for minor injuries. He was taken to the Monroe County Jail, charged with pre-existing warrants. Other charges are pending. He was a narcotics investigator for the last five years. A veteran of seven years, he was also a SWAT officer, a K-9 handler and was about to start training to become a training instructor. Freeman is survived by his wife, Jessica, and their two children, Braden, 11, and Blaiklyn, 6. His K9 partner "Bojar" was given to the family. TV show “Cops” theme song, “Bad Boys”, to close Freeman’s service. Approximately eleven hundred attended his service. Donations can be made to the Macon Shriners, 222 Mecca Drive, Macon, Georgia, 31206.

Montavious Kinder is charged with vehicular homicide, felony murder and reckless driving.

Officer Ronald Heist - RET.
March 20 2016  - York City, Pennsylvania - Age 71

Ronald Heist, 71, a retired York City Police canine officer was one of two people killed on 3/20/16 during a Pennsylvania Turnpike tollbooth robbery attempt. Danny Crouse, 55 who had been on the job only a few months was also killed. Police identified 54-year-old Clarence Briggs of Newville, a retired state trooper, as the man who attempted the armed holdup at a tollbooth in Fort Littleton, off i-76 in Fulton County, around 7:00 a.m.  Briggs is a former state trooper whose tenure included time spent with a division overseeing turnpike operations in the area and ended with him being honorable discharged in 2012. Briggs was fatally shot by police during the shootout. Heist was assigned to the K-9 corps in 1968 and served with the police dogs until the unit was disbanded in 1970. An avid K-9 handler, Heist trained dogs and launched an elite training program for the dogs.  

Chief Stephen J. Soares
December 24, 2015  - Windsor, Vermont - Age 70
Chief Stephen Soares, 70,  died on 12/24/15 at Tufts Medical Center in Boston after battling cancer. He began his long career in law enforcement as a police officer for the Dartmouth Police Department in 1967. Soares was the first K9 officer in 1974 when he graduated the K9 Academy with a Rhodesian Ridgeback “Sarge”. He served as police chief from 1983 through his retirement from that force in 2000. Chief Soares then moved to Norwich, Vermont where he served as police chief until 2004. He became police chief in Windsor, Vermont until his retirement last year. He was known for his work as a canine officer and an avid supporter of the D.A.R.E. He is survived by his wife, four children. Donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital , P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38101-9908.
Officer James R. Olsen
December 16, 2015  - St. Petersburg, Florida - Age 48

Officer James R. Olsen, 48 , was found dead in his home on 12/16/15 of natural causes. Officer Olsen had handled K9'S for the St. Petersburg Police Department. Officer Olson joined the department in 1990 and began working with the police dog unit two years later. In 2016, he was to become the lead police dog trainer for the department. In 2001, Olson was awarded the department's Medal of Valor for his "bravery and decisive action" in helping rescue a Pinellas County Sheriff's deputy. Deputies had responded to a domestic dispute and found a woman shot in a front yard. A deputy had been shot with a powerful rifle and was pinned down as well. Olson volunteered to help him, the department said, reaching the deputy and bringing him to medical personnel, all while under fire. He helped instruct other officers about active-shooter incidents, explosive detection and techniques for managing crowds. He helped develop "an innovative building search technique for use during routine patrol or active-shooter scenarios," the department said. Olson's police dog partner, K9 Soren, of four years, will be cared for by another handler while the department evaluates the dog's readiness to return to work. Olson helped train several police dog officer teams as a canine instructor and evaluator.

Sgt. Lisa Marie Zuk
November 30, 2015  - Kalamazoo, Michigan - Age 37

Sgt. Lisa Zuk, 37, died 11/30/15 at the Rose Arbor Hospice Residence after a long and hard fought battle with breast cancer. Sgt Zuk was a 14-year veteran with the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety. Zuk was diagnosed with breast cancer on Aug. 9, 2013. She underwent 16 weeks of chemotherapy. Upon her return to work, her fellow officers unveiled a patrol car, lettered in pink and bearing the pink ribbon symbol connoting breast cancer awareness. She is survived by her husband, Zachary Zuk and her daughter, Zoey Zuk. Memorials may be directed to an educational fund for Zoey Zuk in care of Lake Michigan Credit Union.

Captain Errol Tustin
November 25, 2015  - Empangeni, South Africa - Age 45

Captain Tustin died on 11/25/15 from complications linked to his injury when he was shot a point blank range in the throat with a 9mm  pistol on 7/16/01. Tustin was a decorated Empangeni police dog handler. The shoot-out with criminals in 2001 left him paralyzed. On 16 July 2001 police officers were conducting an operation looking for illegal weapons at a home in the Isithebe Reserve near Mandini. Tustin was searching a man named Mandlinkosi Nene when the suspect shot. He was 31 at the time. Tustin  suffered with pain since the incident. He was 45. Tustin beat the odds when in 2004 his rehabilitation allowed him to do an office job for the police. Five years later, he fell down the stairs and injured his hip and lower back. Tustin was left in severe pain and medically boarded. After 14 surgeries and seemingly endless drug treatments at hospitals across the country, Tustin went home and had to readjust his life. Tustin had written about his immense pain, and how even wearing clothes irritated his skin. Tustin in 2003, exceeding his doctors’ wildest expectations, he improved and could walk short distances. But in 2009, his condition suddenly worsened and he became bedridden. Tustin's K9 partner's name was "Bishop" at the time of the shooting.

Officer Ryan Patrick Copeland
November 23, 2015  - Albion Wisconsin -Age 33

Officer Ryan P. Copeland, 33, of Janesville, died while on duty on 11/23/15 around noon time in a vehicle accident in the Town of Albion, Wisconsin when a  pick-up truck driven by Colleen M. Sutheimer, 25, of Fitchburg, crossed the center line and hit the squad car head-on with Copeland on County Road N in southeastern Dane County, just north of Edgerton. Officer Copeland was just starting his shift when the crash occurred. Copeland died at the scene. A medical helicopter was called to the scene but was canceled. Both drivers were wearing their seat belt and that Copeland's air bag had deployed during the accident. Sutheimer is a Wildlife Biologist at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources employee who was driving a Ford F250 pic k-up truck belonging to the Wisconsin DNR. She had been picking up deer specimens during the 10-day gun deer season when the accident took place. Sutheimer was transported to St. Mary's Hospital in Janesville with minor injuries. Copeland worked exclusively with the department's K9 Boris, a German shepherd, since October 2014. K9 Boris was not in the vehicle at the time of the crash and was en route to pick up the dog at a kennel after just coming back from a vacation hunting deer when the crash happened. Photographs and videos from the scene show the hilly stretch of road with snow and ice covering parts of it. It's not clear if the condition the road was a factor. Officials said that Sutheimer was not impaired, speeding or on the phone at the time of the accident. Copeland graduated from Blackhawk Technical College's Law Enforcement Basic Recruit Academy. Copeland was McFarland Police Department's first K9 officer. From January 2003 to March 2005, Copeland was with the Army. From March 2005 to December 2012, he was a weapons sergeant with the Green Beret and also served as a special forces sniper. He did two tours of duty in Iraq. As an extension of his Army work during the decade, he learned to speak fluent Indonesian. Copeland served 10 years active duty in the United States Army with the Special Forces, Green Beret and sniper. While working as a McFarland police officer, Copeland earned his bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Excelsior College's online program in 2015. Ryan is survived by his wife,  Amanda Richter Copeland of over ten years: In lieu of flowers, memorials would be greatly appreciated if they were made to: McFarland State Bank, 5990 US Hwy 51, McFarland, WI, 53558, in memory of Ryan Copeland.

Colleen M. Sutheimer blood test were negative and an investrigation estimated her speed between 55-60 MPH.and she was not charged.  Accident was due to slushy road conditions.

Officer Ricardo "Ricky" Galvez
November 18, 2015  - Downey, California -Age 29

Officer Ricardo "Ricky" Galvez, 29,  of the Downey Police Department was shot and killed on 11/18/15 while parked in his own personal BMW 335 vehicle in a public parking lot next to the Downey Police Department, located at 10911 Brookshire Ave.,  when two people ran up and at least one opened fire around 11 p.m. Officer Galvez just completed K9 training and was nearing the end of his shift. He was in plain clothes and the victim of a botched robbery.  A fellow Downey officer who was beginning his patrol shift heard the gunfire and pursued the suspects in a Nissan sedan speeding away from the parking lot. The pursuit ended near Washington Boulevard and Carob Way in Montebello, where multiple people were detained. Three young men who fled the shooting were arrested at 11:15 in Montebello after a high-speed police chase on surface streets  and were being held for the murder. The car's driver, Jeremy Alvarez ,a 21-year-old Hispanic, was taken into custody immediately, after he tried to flee through residential backyards.  Steven Knott, 18, along with  16 year-old  Abel Diaz, both Hispanic, were taken into custody shortly after both fled into a home where they were eventually taken into custody and they were being held without bail. Officer Galvez was a five-year veteran of the Police Department who started in March of 2010 and was a U.S. Marine who served two tours during Operation Enduring Freedom and deployed overseas, once to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. During the service of Officer Galvez, eight K9 handlers removed leashes from their dogs and tied the leashes to Galvez's casket. In lieu of flowers the Downey Police Officer's Association has set up an account for the family at Downey Federal Credit Union, Officer Ricardo Galvez Fund, 8237 3rd St., Downey, CA 90241, 562-862-8141.

Jeremy Alvarez, 21, and Steven Knott, 18, are brothers and have been charged with murder in the death of Officer Ricardo Galvez and are being held without bail. During a scheduled arraignment in Downey at Los Angeles County Superior Court when family members spoke. The trio's arraignment was then rescheduled for 12/17/15 at the Norwalk Courthouse. If convicted they face the death penalty. The trio are also charged with one count of special circumstance murder and one count of attempted second-degree robbery. Abel Diaz,16,  was charged as an adult in connection with the killing and because of his age faces up to life in state prison and his bail has been set at $1 million.

Officer Bashir Ahmad War
August 8, 2015  - Kupwara, India

Bashir Ahmad War and a four-year old Labrador named Mansi lost their lives on 8/17/15 while foiling the bid of militants to cross over the Line of Control in Kupwara's Tanghdhar sector. He  joined the army in 2004 and served as a dog handler for several years. Both Mansi and Bashir Ahmad War belonged to the tracker dog unit of the 160 Territorial Army battalion in Kashmir. Mansi and War were posted in the dense forests where terrorists from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir made an infiltration. Bashir who was with the trekker dog volunteered to go with the search party to track down the militants. They made the supreme sacrifice while gallantly fighting a group of heavily armed infiltrators in the high altitude area along the line of control (LoC) in Tangdhar sector about 150 kms from Srinagar. Mansi, a trekker dog, prevented a huge ingress of militants when it noticed some movement on the LoC and alerted his master Bashir Ahmad War. Mansi sensed some movement and started pulling War towards an area where clouds were low. As Mansi started barking at the intruders, she received an enemy bullet, which prompted her handler to fire at the intruders, besides calling for reinforcements. The infiltrators showered a volley of bullets at Mansi and Bashir, killing them on the spot. Mansi's body was recovered and after necessary documentation which included a postmortem. During the ensuing gunfight, Bashir  was struck in the face with two bullets, one in the neck and one on his leg. Mansi was been the apple of the unit, given the prowess and successes it had in foiling infiltration bids this year. Mansi was part of the group that successfully foiled several infiltration bids along the LoC. War had been taking care of the canine since she joined the Army's Tracker unit.   War's body was brought to the Army cantonment in Srinagar where Lt General Subrata Saha, General Officer in Command of 15 Corps, laid a wreath on the coffin, before it was taken to his native village in Kupwara for last rites with full military honors. The mortal remains of the valiant friend of the Army were laid to rest at her unit lines at Trehgam in north Kashmir. This season, Mansi and War had three kills to their credit. They were involved in the killing of a terrorist at Kaisuri ridge in Tangdhar area on May 25, followed by gunning down of two militants on July 21. Bashir Ahmad War . War  was from Bohipora village, about an hour from his camp and was always in the company of his dog. Mansi was laid to rest at the army dog unit in Trehgam. A wreath was laid on its body too.

Officer Rob Grant
August 1, 2015 - Michigan City, Indiana - Age 37

Officer Rob Grant, 37, committed suicide on 8/1/15. Grant took his own life just days following his arrest on charges, July 28, 2015.  Rob Grant died from a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound. Grant resigned after he was charged with two counts of official misconduct and one count of possession of a legend drug, all Level 6 felonies. A legend drug is a narcotic that can be acquired only with a prescription. He was arrested following an investigation by Indiana State Police, conducted at the request of Michigan City Police Chief Mark Swistek, who obtained information about illegal activity by one of the officers at the department. Later that day, after being released on $755 cash bond he was placed on administrative suspension, Grant tendered his resignation from MCPD. Grant's body was found by police on 8/1/15 inside his Dodge Ram pickup truck in the area of County Roads 300 North and 400 West, about three miles northwest of LaPorte. The search was triggered by a local attorney who contacted the sheriff's office just before 1 p.m. after the officer's wife was unable to reach him on his cell phone. A device at the family's home detecting pings transmitted from a cell phone indicated the officer's location was somewhere within a two-mile radius of his residence. LaPorte County coroner's office ruled the case a suicide and noted the cause and manner of death was obvious. He said the amount of time Grant had been dead was based on the testimony of a passerby's observation of approximately when the vehicle arrived in that location and was dead for about two hours prior to the discovery of his body.  Grant in 2007 rescued three children from a burning home by twice entering the structure. He also often ranked close or at top among officers in the number of yearly arrests. He was a member of the Fugitive Apprehension Team, which has made more than 600 arrests of individuals with outstanding warrants. Grant was a 12-year member of the Michigan City department. Grant leaves behind his wife Lindsay and two daughters, Makayla and Maura Grant along with his K9 partner "Henry". Memorial contributions can be made to the family of Rob Grant.

Officer Zhang Nan
July 26, 2015 - Mogadishu, Somalia - Age 28

K9 Officer Zhang Nan, 29, was killed on July 26 2015 during a suicide attack by Al-Shabaab that was launched onto Jazeera Palace Hotel at around 4 pm local time in Mogadishu, which killed more than a dozen people.The six-story luxury hotel in the Somali capital houses embassies from China, Egypt, Kenya and Qatar, and hosts high-level government meetings. Zhang Nan, was providing security in the Chinese embassy in Somalia. He had been serving in the army for 11 years. The eulogy praised Zhang's skill and courage at an event attended by about 1,000 people, including representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Shandong provincial government and the armed police force.

PC John Poole
June 6, 2015 - North Yorkshire, England - Age 75

Officer John Poole was one of the first dog handlers with North Yorkshire Police in England. He served with the military police. John was awarded a police commendation after he was involved in a chase which ended in him having to rescue a drowning man from the river and resuscitate him.  John  had been in York Hospital for about six months. He was first admitted with pneumonia, but died from vascular thrombosis of the lungs.

Officer Benjamin J. Deen
May 9, 2015 - Hattiesburg, Mississippi - Age 34

Canine Officer Benjamin J. Deen, 34, and Officer Liquori Tate, 25, were fatally shot on 5/9/15 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Officer Deen pulled over a 2000 gold Cadillac Escalade at 8:30 p.m. for a speeding violation. When the back up officer Liquori Tate arrived both were shot and killed with a  .40-caliber Smith & Wesson pistol. Deen stopped stopped the vehicle driven by 22-year-old Joanie Calloway, he decided to search the car and asked Banks, Calloway and passenger Cornelius Clark to get out. At that point, Banks shot Deen and Tate, who was backing up Deen. Both officers were wearing protective vests but wouldn't have helped. Officer Deen was shot in the face and Officer Tate was shot in the lower back. Hattiesburg residents Tamika Mills and Pearnell Roberts discovered the two officers who had been shot while driving down the road. The pair got out to check on the officers and called 9-1-1. Mills said. "As we were coming down Fourth Street, we noticed a bunch of lights. As we came on through, (Roberts) told me to turn around because she saw somebody laying on the ground. "So I backed up. That's when we noticed the officer was down. We just saw that one, but in the course of me being on the phone with 9-1-1, I turned and I saw another officer across the street rolling on the ground. (Roberts) ran across the street to check on him. He wasn't all the way alert but he asked her, 'Am I dying? I know I'm dying. Just hand me my walkie-talkie.'" The officers were taken to Forrest General Hospital, where they died shortly after arriving. Tate was a recent police academy graduate on June 11, 2014 and won the Top Marksman award  while Deen was a K-9 officer who had been honored as the department’s “Officer of the Year” in 2012. Authorities were seeking two suspects that left the scene and identified them as  Curtis T. Lorenzo Banks, 26,  and his  brother, Marvin Banks, 29. After the shooting, the suspects fled and Banks allegedly fled in one of the officer’s cruisers, a 2013 Dodge Charger Police Patrol vehicle. Banks did not get very far and ditched the vehicle four to five blocks later. They  were captured later on that night. Lamar County authorities arrested Marvin Banks at a motel shortly before 1 a.m. about five miles away  Curtis Banks was arrested around 3 a.m. at an apartment complex. The murder weapon was found six days later on 5/15/15  when city workers cutting the grass along Railroad Street in Hattiesburg found the .40-caliber pistol. Officer Dean leaves behind his wife Robin and two children, 12-year-old daughter, Melah, and nine-year-old son, Walker. The Greater PineBelt Community Foundation has set up two funds to honor Deen and Tate. The first, the Benjamin J. Deen and Liquori Tate Memorial Scholarship Fund, was opened by an anonymous private donor and is designed to help police officers and their children in the Pine Belt go to any community college, university or police academy in the area. The second is the Benjamin J. Deen and Liquori Tate Hardship Memorial Fund, which is designed for families of slain officers who are experiencing hardship because of the incident. Both funds will have oversight by a committee of community leaders to assist with the grant-selection process. Donations can be made by mail, with checks being made out to The Greater PineBelt Community Foundation and sent to 1507 Hardy St., Suite 208, Hattiesburg, MS 39401. Donors can differentiate between "Deen and Tate Scholarship Fund" or "Deen and Tate Hardship Fund" on the memo line. An account for Deen and Tate has been established by the City of Hattiesburg at The First – A National Banking Association. Donations can be made at any The First – A National Banking Association location, with checks made out to the City of Hattiesburg. Funds will be evenly divided between the immediate families of Deen and Tate to assist with funeral arrangements and other expenses.  Individuals also can donate at www.officerdown.us.

Marvin Banks, 29, appeared in court on 5/11/15 and was charged with two counts of capital murder, along with counts of grand theft auto and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Forrest County Justice Court Judge Gay Polk-Payton denied bond to Marvin Banks. If convicted, Marvin Banks could face the death penalty of life in prison without parole. In an earlier conviction, Banks pleaded guilty in 2010 to possession of a stolen handgun. He got a split sentence and was released from prison after serving about a year. But he returned to prison after violating terms of his release and faced a pending indictment on drug charges when the car he was riding in was stopped. Judge Polk-Payton set Curtis Banks' bond at $100,000. Curtis Banks faced a pending drug charge. Joanie Tischella Calloway, 22, Marvin Banks girlfriend who was allegedly driving the vehicle the night of the shooting, was originally charged with two counts of capital murder, but her charges were reduced in court on on 5/11/15 to accessory after the fact of capital murder and her bail was set at $75,000. Both Curtis Banks and Calloway could face up to 20 years if convicted. Cornelius Michael Clark is charged with obstruction of justice. Banks' older brother, 29-year-old Curtis Banks, is charged as an accessory to murder, apparently for driving his brother and Clark to the locations where they were arrested. The judge set $75,000 bond for Clark. Abram Wade "Pete" Franklin, 29,  was the fifth person arrested in the case on 5/13/15 and  charged with obstruction of justice and hindering prosecution. Franklin appeared in court before Judge Polk-Payton on 5/15/15 and bond was set at $75,000. Douglas Diquan McPhail, 21, and Anquanette L. Alexander, 19, were the sixth and seventh people arrested in the case on  5/13/15 and both charged with rendering criminal assistance to a fleeing felon. Both McPhail and Alexander appeared in court before Judge Robert Davis on 5/15/15 and Alexander's bond was set at $10,000 and McPhail's bond was set at $15,000. On 5/16/15 Jimmy Brady Jr., 22, was the eighth person arrested on 5/16/15 by the ATF, and was charged with possession of a stolen firearm. Brady appeared in court on 5/18/15 and bond was set at $20,000.

Marvin Banks, 29, was found dead while alone in an isolation cell when officers found him.  EMTs tried performing CPR before Banks was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on 12/11/15 at 7:40 p.m. local time. Autopsy results showed Banks died of severe heart disease, and toxicology tests are  pending, Banks' body showed no signs of trauma. Initial autopsy showed an enlarged heart and scar tissue on the heart. 


Lt. Eric A. Eslary
May 5, 2015- Ligonier, Pennsylvania - Age 40

Lt. Eric Eslary, 40, was killed in a head on accident while on duty on 5/5/15. The accident happened at 1:40 a.m. near Idlewild Park and Soak Zone on Route 30 in Westmoreland County when a van was traveling the wrong way. Lt. Eslary was taken to Excela Latrobe Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 2:46 a.m. Lt. Eslary died of blunt force trauma to the head, chest and extremities. Eslary was wearing his seatbelt and the airbags went off. The crash happened at a hill which meant the drivers couldn't see each other coming, but there were no weather conditions that played a factor.  His canine Blek was injured in the accident. Eslary’s wife had to come and get the dog so emergency responders could start treating him. Eslay's K9 partner Blek, was taken to a Monroeville veterinary hospital. The driver of the van, Clair Fink III, 31, of Ligonier and his passenger, Derek Gifford, 21, of Greensburg, were taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown with injuries. Mr. Fink is listed in critical condition. Mr. Gifford suffered non-threatening injuries. The van belonged to Westmoreland Pools and Spas in Irwin. Lt. Eric Eslary served with the Ligonier Township Police Department for 17 years. Eric had been employed by Ligonier Township Police Department since 1998, where he had obtained the rank of lieutenant and he established the K-9 unit in 2000. Lt. Eslary got his first dog, Ando, about 13 years ago. After Ando died in 2009, he began working with Blek. His wife works as a dispatcher for the Westmoreland County 911 center but was not on duty when her husband was killed. Eric Eslary leaves behind his wife Mary Beth Taylor-Eslary, and his children; Morgan 17, Lauren 13, Colin Eslary 11, and Mary Beth's children from her first marage Kaylee 17, Lukas 14, and Dylan Dewitt 9. About 2,000 attended the funeral service along with approximately a dozen K9 teams. K9 Blek, a six-year-old shepherd had his back legs injured in the crash and also suffered some hemorrhaging in the abdomen. K9 Blek was released from the hospital on 5/18/15 and given to the Eslary family to live out his retirement years. Memorial contributions to assist Eric's wife and children may be made to WPPBF, c/o 144 E. Main St., Ligonier, PA 15658 with Mary Beth Eslary in the memo line.

Mr Gifford, the passenger in the van, said that he and Mr. Fink, knocked off work around 7:00 p.m. hours before the fatal crash. They had picked up an 18-pack of beer and returned to the warehouse of their employer, Westmoreland Pools and Spas. They started drinking around 7:20 p.m. “on their way back to the warehouse” and kept drinking until about 9 p.m. Mr. Gifford, a pool installer  said the driver drank most of an 18-pack of beer. and had drank most of it at the warehouse leaving  two or four.  He added that they gave one of their beers to a co-worker and then split the rest. When done, the men went to the Beehive Showbar, a strip joint in Salem, where they stayed for about an hour. The men departed the Beehive around 12:42 a.m.  A club employee described Fink as being “a mess” and said he appeared to be drunk, according to the criminal complaint. Surveillance video shows Fink entering the club at 11:42 p.m. He was unable to located his identification in his wallet for more than two minutes, police said. When Fink and Gifford left the club at 12:42 a.m. May 5, it appeared in the video that Fink had difficulty staying balanced, police said. Mr. Gifford estimated that his co-worker drank between seven and nine 16-ounce beers. At the crash site a can of beer was found in the road and the same name brand of beer was also found in their work van.

Mr. Fink was charged in 2006 with driving under the influence and DUI with the highest rate of alcohol, reflecting a blood alcohol content of greater than 0.16. The legal limit for driving in Pennsylvania is 0.08. State police in Greensburg charged Mr. Fink as a first-time offender. Police also filed several summary counts. That year Mr. Fink entered an accelerated rehabilitative disposition program in Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court. He was placed on probation for 12 months and had his driver's license suspended for 60 days, according to online court records. Those records show that Mr. Fink completed the program in September 2008 and all his charges were dismissed.

On 7/16/15,  Clair Eugene Fink III , arrived for his court arraignment at the office of District Judge Mark Bilik. Fink is charged with numerous counts including third-degree homicide, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence and reckless driving. Fink will be held without bail in the Westmoreland County Prison. Fink's blood-alcohol content was .197 percent at the time of the crash. The legal limit in Pennsylvania is .08 percent. He was traveling between 63 and 68 mph in the 55 mph zone, police said. Eslary was traveling 34 to 40 mph. In additional to homicide, Fink is charged with occupant protection, obedience to traffic control devices, driving on divided highways, reckless driving, restrictions on alcoholic beverages, lighting requirements, speeding and three counts of driving under the influence.

On August 3, 2015, the children of filed a wrongful-death lawsuit. The suit lists Lt. Eric Eslary's three children, Morgan, Lauren, and Colin 11, as plaintiffs under their grandfather and court-appointed plenary guardian, Clarence H. Mazzariello of Ligonier. Named as defendants are Clair E. Fink III, 32, of Ligonier; his employer at the time of the crash, Westmoreland Pools and Spas Inc. and Westmoreland Pool Sales and Construction in North Huntingdon; and Beehive Showbar in Salem. The children are seeking monetary damages, according to the suit, which was filed Monday, one day before Eslary's widow, Mary Beth Eslary, filed her own civil claims. Westmoreland Pools. The suit filed by Eslary's children claims that Westmoreland Pools and Spas and Westmoreland Pool Sales and Construction were negligent in letting Fink have control over a work van and that Fink should be held responsible for driving 3.7 miles in the wrong direction. The Beehive was negligent because bartenders allegedly served Fink and failed to stop him from driving when he left the bar, the suit claims.

On September 16 2016, Clair E. Fink III pleaded guilty to five charges included third-degree murder. In addition to the murder charge, Mr. Fink, 33, of Ligonier pleaded guilty to homicide by vehicle while under the influence and three DUI offenses. Eight other charges — the most serious of which was a felony count of homicide by vehicle -— were dismissed by the commonwealth as part of the plea deal. Mr. Fink pleaded guilty before Westmoreland County Common Pleas Judge Christopher A. Feliciani. Sentencing will be within three months. Fink faces a maximum of 20 to 40 years in prison and a minimum of 6 to 20 years.

Clair Fink III was sentenced on 2/21/17 to at least 12 years in prison  on third-degree murder, drunken driving and other charges for a wrong-way crash that killed Lt. Eric Eslary.  Fink’s sentence is 12 to 30 years in prison. The third-degree murder charge, the most serious Fink faces, carried up to 40 years in prison. 

Sgt. Jay E. Fleckenstein
April 17, 2015- Sioux City, Iowa - Age 39

Jay E. Fleckenstein, 39, of Sioux City passed away April 17, 2015 at his residence from natural causes. Fellow officers found Fleckenstein dead in his home approximately 4:00 p.m.  Sgt Fleckenstein was 17-year veteran of the Sioux City Police Department.  K9 Eik was there, keeping watch over his partner, when two fellow officers arrived at the house. For six years Sgt. Fleckenstein and his K9 partner "Eik" were inseparable, and Eik grew from exuberant puppy to trusty police K9. Jay received his Bachelor Degree from the University of South Dakota in criminal justice before fulfilling a life-long dream of becoming a Police Officer by joining the Sioux City Police Department in 1997. Jay furthered his career by becoming a member of the K-9 Unit with his trusted service dog, Eik. He was promoted to the position of Sergeant of the K-9 Unit with the Sioux City Police Department. Jay loved training dogs and teaching obedience classes. He had won numerous awards, including exceptional duty awards, and Top Honors in 2010 at the National Detector Trials. Jay was an instructor for the Citizens Academy of the Sioux City Police Department, a firearms instructor, a member of the SWAT team, Jay is survived by his beloved K9 Eik and was given to the Fleckenstein family. Family requests memorials be made to the Friends of the Sioux City Police Department in care of the K-9 Unit. K9 Eik had cancer and had to be euthanized on 8/20/15.

Lt. Richard Glenn Woods
March 17, 2015- Pell, Alabama - Age 48
Lieutenant Richard Woods , 48, suffered a fatal heart attack on 3/17/15 while assisting other rescue personnel extricate teenagers from a vehicle following a serious accident on Cogswell Avenue at 5th street, at approximately 4:30pm. A heavy utility truck had collided with a car carrying two teenage girls on their way to soccer practice. The mangled car slid down an embankment into a ravine with the utility truck on top of it. The girls were trapped inside. Woods was the first responder on the scene. After checking on the girls and finding the doors wouldn't open, he called for help. A wrecker, ambulance and rescue workers were immediately summoned.  Woods was able to pull the 15-year-old out of the passenger-side of the car, but the 16-year-old driver was still trapped. When rescue workers arrived with the Jaws of Life tool, Woods began to saw the roof off the car to get to the driver, who had a broken pelvis, lacerations and other injuries. They were also looking around making sure fuel was not leaking. Woods helped cut the whole top half of the car off. They  were also concerned  that the remaining airbags would deploy and hurt them worse. Woods was putting it where it needed to be so they did not set off the right-side airbags that didn't go off yet.  On the passenger side, the whole side airbag on the right side hadn't gone off. Woods began working up a sweat and it was a hot day. Woods then began assisting firefighters who were cutting trees and clearing out logs to make a path to the ambulance. Woods began experiencing chest pains and sat down. Woods said he had  pneumonia and sinus infection.  Pell City Fire and Rescue Service and RPS ambulance immediately began treatment by conducting chest compressions on Lt. Woods when he lost consciousness. Woods was treated on the scene for about 20 minutes. He was originally supposed to be airlifted to the hospital but wasn't stable enough. He was transported to the emergency room at St. Vincent’s St. Clair Hospital where he died at 5:33 p.m.  Lieutenant Woods had served with the Pell City Police Department for 20 years and was the commander of the Special Operations Division.  Woods is survived by his wife, Susan, and two sons, Richard Cody Woods, and Jacob Cecil Woods, 14, who lived at home and his K9 partner Johnny . K9 Johnny was to be retired soon and attended the funeral. Woods was buried with full police honors. A "Richard Woods Memorial Fund" has been set up for the family at Metro Bank.
Police Chief Christopher Pelchar
February 22, 2015 - Wilkes-Barr, Pennsylvania - Age 38

Police Chief Christopher Pelchar, 38, was found dead on 2/22/15 in his parent’s home in Wilkes-Barre. There were no signs of foul play, and the cause of death remains unknown pending further testing. Pelchar had been on medical leave for more than a year for injuries he sustained in a fall. Pelchar was chasing a group of teenagers and fell when a second-floor porch of a vacant house gave way in October 2013. In November 2012, Pelchar received a partner named Mason, a German shepherd from Czechoslovakia. Pelchar took care of Mason, trained in drug detection and tracking. Pelchar used his own money to purchase Mason, and donations from businesses in Sugar Notch and Hanover Township helped fund the canine's training. One of his biggest accomplishments was starting the first K-9 unit in the borough, where he happily served with his partner Mason. Chris was also a member of the Sugar Notch Masons, United Police and Correction K-9 Association where, along with Mason, he graduated from the Northeast Police Academy, State Chiefs of Police Association of Pennsylvania, and a past NRA member. Pelchar was known to many as “Curly”. He graduated from the police academy in 2003.Surviving are his wife of 16 years, Yvonne, and his son, Christopher M. Pelchar Jr. Family requests contributions be made to PNC Bank, "Christopher Pelchar Sr. Memorial Fund."

Anthony Giaquinta
February 22, 2015 - Clarkesville, Georgia  - Age 40

Anthony Giaquinta, 41, was found shot to death on 2/22/15. Anthony Giaquinta 16-year-old daughter called police from a nearby store at approximately 7:30 p.m. saying her father was attacking her mother and gunshots were being fired. Her 18-year-old sister was away at college. She told 911 operators that she escaped from the home. As the sheriff officials drove to the residence responding to the domestic call in Clarkesville, Georgia, they saw a Ford Crown Victoria approaching them. The Crown Victoria turned into a yard and spun out. Anthony Giaquinta, got out of the vehicle then doubling back to the house. When Sheriff Joey Terrell and Deputy Bill Zigan entered the garage they found Kathy Smith Giaquinta dead. Terrell knew Giaquinta because he terminated him in 2013 after a domestic violence investigation. The case, however, was not prosecuted, so Giaquinta still had “many guns,” Andrews said. Guns are often confiscated after a domestic violence conviction. Terrell posted Zigan outside to watch for Giaquinta while he and the other deputy searched the house. But Giaquinta, a former police dog trainer and handler, hid in some trees and shot his two former colleagues. Zigan was shot with a 9mm Glock pistol, fracturing his collarbone and gouging his face before Zigan managed to crawl into the garage and take cover. Giaquinta then moved up to the garage and shot Terrell in the right arm bicep when he stepped into the garage to help Zigan. Terrell and Zigan were able to return fire. Anthony Giaquinta was later found dead behind his home along with the body of another man, 45-year-old Steve Singleton. The sheriff and deputy were taken to the Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville at about 8 p.m. Terrell was released from the hospital in a few hours and and Zigan was admitted and in good condition. Anthony Giaquinta was a former Gainesville police officer from September 2002 - October 2009. While with Gainesville Police Department he became a certified K9 handler in March, 2006. With his K9 partner "Miso" from 2006-2009 he and his K9 had 426 physical apprehensions, 7 arrests with K9, 473 tracks with captures, 33 tracks with no captures, 23 team arrests, 840 training hours, 1377 drug and property seizures totaling $624,027.00. Giaquinta was a certified K9 decoy and Master Trainer with 2,000 hours of post certified police k9 training. He was certified as an explosive detection dog handler, certified with North American Police Work Dog Association in aggression control, man tracking, controlled substance detection, article search, area search, and building and vehicle search. In 2010 he became certified with his K9 partner "Mike". From 2010-2012 while with K9 "Mike" they had 237 physical apprehensions, 1  arrest with canine, 106 tracks with captures, 17 tracks with no captures, 35 training hours, 687 drug and property seizures totaling $64,522.00.   In 2012 he worked for Aegis Defense Services from January through November and provided armed security for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul Afghanistan and was granted a Department of State Security Clearance. Giaquinta then worked for Habersham County Sheriff's Office as a canine officer from December 2012 - June 2013, with his K9 partner "Max" and had 127 physical apprehensions, 3 arrests with canine, 87 tracks with captures, 24 tracks with no captures, 6 training hours, and 380 drug and property seizures totaling $74,212.00. Giaquinta then started working for Custom Canine Unlimited in Maysville, GA in July 2013 . Giaquinta's captured of a fugitive in 2011. The Giaquintas have two children but they were not harmed.

Matthew Edward Fineran
January 29, 2015 - Kabul, Afghanistan - Age 42

Matthew Fineran, 42, from Summerville, South Carolina was shot and killed on 1/29/15 by the Taliban while on security detail at the Kabul Airport in Afghanistan. Fineran was a K9 handler and a former police officer on the force with the Summerville Police Department from 2000 -2004. Also killed in the attack was Walter D. Fisher of North Myrtle Beach and Jason D. Landphair of Fayetteville, North Carolina. A fourth employee, Bradley A. James of Atlanta, Georgia, was wounded in the attack and but the wounds, while serious, are not considered life-threatening. The shooter was also killed. The Taliban  claimed responsibility for the death.  The shooter was a Taliban fighter wearing an Afghan police uniform. He infiltrated the ranks of Afghan security forces. Fineran was a contractor under Department of Defense and worked for Praetorian Standard whose company has picked up security details that were once handled by U.S. troops. He had worked overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan for over 10 years. He leaves behind his wife, Vickie Elaine Fineran, four daughters: Brittney, Paula, Amelia and Josie; two sons: Blaine and Jonah.


Officer Kenneth M. Bernstein

January 25, 2015- Bedford Park, Illinois - Age 44

Kenneth M. "Ken" Bernstein, 44, passed on 1/25/15 from colon cancer. He was diagnosed in Aug 2013 with stage 4 colon cancer. Officer Bernstein was a police K9 handler for the Bedford Park Police Department in Illinois. He is survived by his wife Denise and sons Macdonald and Maeve and his K9 partner Ciro. Donations may be made to the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Center of Northwestern University,Northwestern University Office of Development, 750 N. Lake Shore Drive, Ninth Floor, Chicago, IL 60611, or MARK-9 (Medical Assistance for Retired K-9s) 1951 Matson Lane, Lisle, IL 60532. 
Officer Gene Damian Fonseca
January 20, 2015 - Age 46

On January 20, 2015, at approximately 1345 hours Detroit Regional Canine Training Instructor Gene Fonseca was found deceased at his home during a health and welfare check. The medical examiner was called to the scene, but initial indication is that Gene passed of natural causes. Officer Fonseca joined the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in June of 2012, assigned as the Regional Canine Training Instructor at DTW. His military career began in May of 1994, when he joined the United States Air Force as a Security Policeman / Law Enforcement Officer / Military Working Dog (MWD) Handler. Gene began his K9 career as a Patrol Explosives Detector Dogs (PEDD) handler at RAF Lakenheath and Barsdale AFB, where he supported numerous PEDD missions in support of the United Stated Secret Service and the Department of State. In 1999, Gene became a MWD trainer at Prince Sultan Air Base, KSA, supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Later that year he became MWD trainer at Cairo West AB, Egypt in support of Operation Bright Star. Mr. Fonseca was also a Kennel Master at Grand Forks, North Dakota, where he was responsible for deploying numerous PEDDs to Iraqi Freedom. During that timeframe he was also deployed with two PEDDs from the kennels to Camp Snoopy, Doha Qatar supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. On arrival to Aviano Air Base, Italy in 2003. Gene was initially assigned a PEDD, after six months he became MWD Trainer for 14 MWDs and held that position until 2008. Positions held in his military career include Patrol Explosive Detector Dog Handler, MWD Trainer, Kennel Master and Law Enforcement Flight Chief. After serving 14 years of honorable service he separated from active duty at the rank of Staff Sergeant. Prior to joining the TSA, Mr. Fonseca was a civilian contractor for Northrop Grumman LLC from September 2008 to May of 2012 assigned to the 64th Security Forces Squadron, Eskan Village, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as  MWD Trainer for 6 assigned PEDDs.

Officer Brandon Mark Thompson
December 26, 2014- Dothan, Alabama - Age 29

 Brandon Thompson, 29, of Rehobeth, was killed in a vehicle accident on 12/26/14 in Dothan, Alabama. State troopers were called to investigate following a one-vehicle crash that occurred on Fortner Street at the intersection of Crestwood Drive. Off-duty officer Thompson was driving a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck when it ran off a road in Dothan about 2:57 a.m. and struck a sign before slamming into a tree. Thompson, who was not using a seatbelt, was transported to Flowers Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 3:30 a.m. Also injured in the vehicle with Thompson was 21-year-old woman, Bailyn J. Stewart who was taken to Flowers Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. A motorist involved in a crash earlier with Thompson the same night told investigators he smelled alcohol on the officer's breath, the crash report states. Demorris Lee Kilow told Alabama State Troopers that off-duty officer Brandon Mark Jackson Thompson rear-ended his vehicle as he was stopped at a red light at the intersection of Montgomery Highway and Ross Clark Circle on the morning of Dec. 26,  When the men exited their vehicles, Kilow said he could tell Thompson had been drinking alcohol. Thompson sped away from the scene in his vehicle. Kilow followed Thompson and called 911. According to the report, Kilow witnessed Thompson lose control of his vehicle on Fortner Street and crash into a tree. Officer Brandon Thompson was a K9 Officer with the Dothan Police Department and served with them for six years. Brandon was awarded the highest honor given at the Police academy, The Commanders Award on July 25, 2008 for exhibiting exceptional leadership, professionalism and dedication. Brandon was also a SWAT team member who was certified as a trained FBI firearms instructor. Brandon was awarded several medals, badges, and campaign honors while serving in the Army, these included honors such as: Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Bronze Star medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, National Medal/ Combat. While playing football at Rehobeth High School in Alabama he excelled on the football field where he earned the Wiregrass Athletic Conference Player of the year award. In 2003, Brandon was named in the Super Twelve as well as the Birmingham news First Team Honors while playing middle linebacker for Rehobeth High School. He is survived by his son, Landon Thompson, and  his daughter, Emerson Grace Thompson and his K9 partner Rex.

Officer Robert Frederick Zelle
December 1, 2014- Ballwin, Missouri - Age 89

Robert Frederick Zelle died on 12/1/14 of lung cancer at the age of 89 at Quarters of Des Peres rehab facility. Bob Zelle was among the early recruits on the St. Louis police canine corps.  His K9 partner Sarge was a 70-pound, black German shepherd. Officer Zelle credited Sarge with the capture of eight burglars. Officer Zelle retired in 1981 after a 33-year career with the St. Louis Police Department. He lived in Ballwin. When World War II started, he joined the armed forces. He was awarded the Chief’s Letter of Commendation four times. His family recalled that he had played a bit part in the 1961 movie, “The Hoodlum Priest.” Officer Zelle’s and his dog were in a scene. Officer Zelle retired at the rank of Sergeant. He is survived by his wife, Roseann La Barbera Zelle.

Lt. William "Bill" Isaac Jeffers II
November 30, 2014- Evanston, Wyoming - Age 44

Lt. William Jeffers passed away 12/30/14 at a Salt Lake City hospital after being unresponsive for two full weeks. It’s unclear why Jeffers wouldn’t wake up on Sunday, Nov. 16, around 9:20 a.m., when his wife Sarah called dispatch, but his condition never improved. Sarah Jeffers found her husband in bed that morning, his heart was beating, but he wasn’t breathing well and his breaths were irregular. He was transported to Evanston Regional Hospital and later that day transported by ambulance to University of Utah Hospital. Jeffers had apparently aspirated while sleeping, because doctors found fluid from vomit in his lungs. “He worked with the police department since April 27, 1997. He spent over 20 years with the Wyoming Army National Guard. Those positions include patrolman, K-9 unit, field training officer, member of the special response team, firearms instructor, detective division and lieutenant. Bill was a retired Master Sergeant with the Wyoming National Guard.

Officer Amanda Laake Solis
November 11, 2014- Daingerfield, Texas - Age 39
Officer Amanda Laake Solis, 39, died on 11/11/14 after a long battle with cancer. She was a police officer with the Daingerfield Police Department. She was diagnosed with two forms of Leukemia in August of 2013 and had been undergoing cancer treatment for the last year in Dallas, Texas. She worked with the Titus County Sheriff's Department before becoming a K9 officer in Daingerfield. She leaves behind her husband Jeff, her two sons, Tanner Mayberry and Tyler Solis, age 10, and her K9 partner Diva.
Sgt. Langston "Paul" Adams
September 22, 2014 - Florala, Alabama - Age 31
Sgt. Paul Adams, 31, was found dead in his home around 10:30 on 9/22/14. Adams left early Monday after another officer relieved him, stating he did not feel well. His girlfriend said that he was up sick from 1 to 3 a.m. with flu-like symptoms. She went back around 10:30 to check on him and found him deceased on the couch in the living room. Adams had been sick with flu-like symptoms and his girlfriend was trying to get him to go to the ER. He didn’t want to go to the doctor, he said he would be fine. Officer Adams was expected to attend a grand jury hearing the next day. Adams was going on five years with the Florala Police Department.  An autopsy is being conducted to try to determine the cause of death. He is survived by his son, Warren Russell Adams and his daughter, Jocelyn Rose Adams and his K9 partner "Bella". Family requests contributions be made to the Spectrum House, 1455 S Ferdon Blvd., Ste. C1, Crestview, FL 32536.
Cpl. Jason E. Harwood
September 7, 2014 - Topeka, Kansas - Age 40
Cpl. Jason E. Harwood, 40, was killed in a fatal shooting on 9/7/14 in Topeka, Kansas. Harwood was transported to Stormont-Vail Health in critical condition after sustaining four gunshot wounds around 4:45 p.m. He had pulled over a car near S.E. 6th and Deer Creek Parkway. One of its occupants drew a weapon and fired on the officer.  Adina Mayhew came upon the scene and saw flashing police lights and saw the officer laying in the street, alone. Gina Barron-Jaramillo arrived on scene shortly after the shooting who had taken CPR classes and immediately rendered aid. Barron-Jaramillo saw a radio on Harwood's uniform and used it to call for help saying “officer down” and immediately requesting an ambulance. When emergency personnel arrived they removed Harwood's shirt and were trying to remove his bulletproof vest, which appeared to have bullet holes in it.  Cpl. Jason E. Harwood had been shot three times. One entering the right side of the neck just under the jaw, striking the carotid artery and jugular vein, and exiting the back of the neck. That shot was fired 2 to 3 feet from Harwood.  Another  shot entered the right side of the neck above the shoulder, exiting the top of the back and cutting across the spinal cord. That was fired 1 to 2 inches from the victim’s skin. Another shot entering the victim’s abdomen, passing through the heart and left lung, and lodging in his left shoulder. After the shooting the suspect drove to another location and he called Randy Allen Ridens Jr., who allegedly picked him up on a stolen motorcycle. The pair then rode to Douglas Co. where the motorcycle broke down. As a search for the suspect was underway, 13 News' Melissa Brunner received a call from a man identifying himself as Ross Lane and said he was the person wanted in the officer's shooting. The information he provided matched an ALL Points Bulletin issued at the time. Lane gave his location, which was relayed to police. He also told Melissa he didn't want to end up like David Tiscareno, a reference to a man who shot and killed two Topeka Police officers back in December 16, 2012. Tiscareno was shot and killed following a stand-off with police. Ross Preston Lane, 30, was captured shortly after 8:00 p.m. on 9/7/14 and brought to the Shawnee County jail and booked in around 4:12am on 9/8/14. He was being held without bond in connection with capital murder of a law enforcement officer. In additional to capital murder of a law enforcement officer, Lane also was booked into jail in connection with criminal possession of a firearm by a felon. Also another suspect, Randy Allen Ridens Jr., was located and booked into the Shawnee County Jail at 3:50 a.m. on 9/8/14 and Jail officials said Ridens was “uncooperative” during the book-in process. Ridens has been charged with violating felony probation, possession of stolen property and obstruction apprehension. Officer Harwood spent about ten years in the K9 Unit until he was promoted to Corporal in May of 2012.  Harwood joined the Topeka Police force on June 28, 1999 where he also served as a member of the “Hit-and-Run” unit. Officer Jason Harwood has a twin brother, Jeremy, who is a Kansas State Trooper. Jeremy Harwood was among those who responded to his brother accident in May 2010 after a minivan slammed into the back of Jason Harwood’s patrol car as it was stopped on a shoulder of Interstate 70 near S.W. MacVicar Avenue. The minivan then struck Harwood and KHP Trooper Kody Olson, who were on foot blocking the potential escape route of two men who were fleeing police. Both survived. Jason Harwood however suffered nine broken ribs, a concussion, a compound fracture to his right arm, a broken clavicle to his right shoulder, a fully collapsed lung and a second, partially collapsed lung and returned to work when he recovered.  Officer Jason Harwood later mentioned that he was grateful that his K9 partner Magnum hadn’t been in his usual place in the back seat of the patrol car at the time of the crash — because if he had, he wouldn’t have come home.  Harwood is a 15 year veteran of the force. He received a Letter of Accommodation in 2001, Distinguished Service Bar in September of 2013. Topeka Police Cpl. Jayme Green also sang songs including ‘Amazing Grace,’ and ‘I cross my heart,’ their wedding song requested by Harwood’s wife. Harwoods K-9 partner “Magnum” before his promotion to corporal two years ago lay down in front of the casket. The procession included more than 200 police vehicles with eight K9 teams that lined the entrance drive into the cemetery. A 21 gun salute and Taps were played at the burial site. An estimated 2,400 people paid their respects. Jason is survived by his wife, Lori Anne Harwood and their sons, Tyler and Lawson. and also his K-9 partner, Magnum. Memorial contributions may be made to the Jason Harwood Memorial Fund at any Core First Bank & Trust or the Topeka Police Credit Union located at 320 S. Kansas Avenue, Topeka, Kansas 66603.

Ross Preston Lane, was booked on 9/8/14 and is being held without bond in connection with capital murder of a law enforcement office and also booked in connection with criminal possession of a firearm by a felon. Lane shot Cpl. Jason E. Harwood with a Springfield 40-caliber semiautomatic pistol which he pulled from the middle console in the car. At his first court appearance on 9/8/14  he told Judge Frank J. Yeoman that he did not have an attorney representing him. When Yeoman asked if he would like the court to appoint one, he responded, "nope." Ross Lane was previously convicted of multiple felonies. First on Aug. 19, 2003, he burglarized a building used as a dwelling in Johnson County. He was sentenced May 5, 2005, and was discharged on Sept. 29, 2005. Additionally, on Oct. 16, 2006, in Butler County, authorities arrested him in connection with criminal threat-intending to terrorize, and he was sentenced for the crime on June 4, 2007. He was discharged Sept. 21, 2009. Also in Kasper, Lane was listed as being moved Oct. 12, 2005, to El Dorado Correctional Facility because of a probation violation. He also was listed as being in correctional facilities at Ellsworth, Lansing and Butler County. The final movement listed was Sept. 21, 2009 to an unknown location. From Dec. 19, 2005 to Aug. 23, 2009, more than two-and-a-half pages of disciplinary reports were listed for him in Ellsworth, El Dorado and Lansing. The types of misconduct include threatening or intimidating a person, battery, assault, use of stimulants, dangerous contraband, misuse of state property and other things. Lane’s trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 11, 2016. On 12/24/15 Lane was found dead in his cell at the El Dorado Correctional Facility.

Randy Allen Ridens Jr. has been charged on 9/8/14 with violating felony probation, possession of stolen property and obstruction apprehension. When Ridens appeared in court right after Lane, his bond set at $1 million because the judge said he had a criminal background and was a flight risk. When he was asked if he wanted a lawyer, Ridens said, "It don't matter."  Ridens also has a criminal history. He has convictions on computer crime; aiding, abetting, advising or counseling theft of more than $1,000; forgery; theft of less than a $1,000; criminal trespass; and violation of the Kansas Offender Registration Act, among other things. Those convictions date from 2005 to 2013 in Johnson, Jackson and Shawnee County. According to The Topeka Capital-Journal’s database on sex offenders, he was put on the list in 2007 in connection with attempted lewdness with a minor under the age of 14. While in correctional facilities around the state, Kasper listed multiple infractions he committed including theft, dangerous contraband, threatening or intimidating any person, along with several other types of misconduct. On 11/9/15 Ridens pleaded guilty Nov. 9 to obstructing justice and possession of stolen property — a Harley-Davidson motorcycle — which are felonies. On 12/29/15 Ridens received two consecutive prison terms totaling 27 months during a hearing in Shawnee County District Court. Shawnee County District Judge David Debenham on Tuesday imposed a 21-month sentence on Ridens for the obstruction conviction and a six-month sentence for possession of the stolen motorcycle.
Pvt. 1st Class Darrll Robinson
August 31, 2014 - Fort Bragg, North Carolina - Age 23

Pvt. 1st Class Darrell Robinson, 23, of San Angelo, Texas was found dead at Fort Bragg, North Carolina on 8/31/14. Robinson, who joined the Army in May 2013, was assigned in April to the 550th Military Working Dog, 42nd Military Police Detachment, 503rd Military Police Battalion, 16th Military Police Brigade. Robenson received his associate degree in criminal justice from Howard College before deciding to join the Army. He graduated basic training and school for military police in December 2013. He was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, before moving to North Carolina. Robinson had been awarded a National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon. He was assigned a military police K-9 dog named Raptor.

Ed Lacrom
August 24, 2014 - Canton, Pennsylvania - Age 75

Ed Larcom, 75, of Canton, Pa., passed away at home on August 24, 2014 following a courageous battle with cancer. He enlisted in the U.S. army serving two years in Bamberg, Germany. He began his career as a police officer in 1980 when he attended his first PA Municipal Police Officer Training Academy. Ed and his K9 partner, Baron, were integral members of the Bradford County K9 Unit. He enjoyed spending many hours training and working with Baron and became a renowned fixture of the county's law enforcement community. In 2001, Ed retired from the career he loved. He continued working as head of the security department for athletic events at Canton High School. Ed became the Bradford County Chief Detective until 2007. He then served as a transport officer for the County Sherriff's Dept. and began a security position for TriCorp until his last retirement in 2012. Surviving are his beloved wife of nearly 45 years Leslie Ann; Lisa Bailey and seven children. his family suggests memorials in Ed's name be made to Guthrie Hospice at 421 Tomahawk Rd., Towanda, PA 18848.

Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega Jr. 
August 3, 2014 - La Feria, Texas - Age 36  

Border Patrol agent Javier Vega, Jr., was shot and killed on  8/3/14 at approximately 8:00 p.m. while fishing with  his two young children, a young friend and the agent’s parents in south Texas, north of Harlingen, when two men attempted to rob them, opening fire on Vega and his family. Vega was shot in the chest and killed and his father was shot in the hip. The two suspects were identified as Mexican nationals Gustavo Tijerina, 30, of La Villa, Texas, and Ismael Hernandez, 40, of Weslaco, Texas. The suspects have confessed to the crime and the two will ”face charges of capital murder, attempted capital murder, four counts of aggravated robbery and tampering with evidence.” Off-duty Border Patrol agent Javier Vega, Jr. begged his father to “keep shooting, dad,” while the agent’s mother picked up a rifle and shot at the fleeing suspects as well. The Hispanic suspects were apprehended five hours after the shooting, hiding in a shed behind the home of a man living in the area. The suspects had made several passes along the road by the water when they spotted the group, and approached the victims and told them to get on the ground. The suspects were surprised when they discovered that the off-duty agent and his father were armed. ”The Border Patrol agent apparently kept telling his dad to ‘keep firing, dad, keep shooting, dad’ at the suspects after he was already hit.” At some point, the agent’s mother “apparently picked up the AR-15 rifle and continued shooting at the suspects’ vehicle, hitting the windshield and other parts of the vehicle as the suspects fled.” Vega Jr. worked for the Border Patrol for six years and was a Marine Corp veteran. Hundreds attended his funeral and the U.S. flag, Border Patrol Flag and Marine Corps flag were displayed. Agent Vega was buried with full military honors. He is survived by his wife Paola, and sons, Javier Vega III, Jiovanni, and Jarod and his K9 Goldie. The family of Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega Jr. requests that donations be made to: Javier Vega Jr. Memorial Fund at Rio Bank, P.O. Box 4169, McAllen,Texas 78502 ( Routing Number 114915447/Account Number 4081153 ).

Both suspects Gustavo Tijerina, 30, of La Villa and Ismael Hernandez, 40, of Weslaco, Texas were arraigned on 8/5/14 inside the Willacy County jail library. At 12:45 p.m. the first suspect, Tijerina appeared before Judge Solis. As Tejerina was being walked out he asked if he could have a Bible from the Library. Hernandez was brought in approximately 1:10. After being told what he was being charged with he replied “I don’t understand why I’m being accused of so many things, he told the judge.They were ordered held without bail after being charged with capital murder of a peace officer, attempted murder four counts each of aggravated robbery and one count of tampering with evidence. Both had been arrested and deported numerous times and have been living in South Texas illegally. Tijerina was arrested at least four times for crossing into the U.S. illegally between 2007 and 2009, according to court records. Hernandez was arrested and deported at least twice. Tijerina also goes by the name of Tijerina Sandoval, pleaded guilty to entering the U.S. illegally on July 9, 2007. He was given a 30–day sentence with credit served and charged a $10 fee. Three months later on October 3, 2007 he was again found guilty of entering the country illegally and was sentenced to 60 days in jail and a $10 fee. A year later, on October 25, 2008, he again crossed into the U.S. and on November 18, 2008, he was given 90 days in jail and another $10 fee.  On December 15, 2009, Tijerina was indicted by a grand jury on charges of entering the U.S. illegally again. The indictment says he “had previously been denied admission, excluded, deported and removed and unlawfully was present in the United States having been found near Edinburg, Texas.” Court records say he had not obtained consent from the U.S. attorney general and the secretary of homeland security to reapply for admission into the U.S. A warrant for his arrest said he faced up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. He was held without bond on January 26, 2010 and was given nine months in jail and fined $100. Willacy County District Attorney Bernard Ammerman is seeking the death penalty against two men accused in the death of an off-duty Border Patrol agent.

RCMP Cpl. Ken Barker
July 11, 2014 -Winnipeg, Canada - Age 51

Cpl. Ken Barker, 51, committed suicide July 11, 2014. He began his career in 1987 in Nanaimo with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In 1990 Ken and his wife Shari relocated to Winnipeg to be close to his mother when she became ill. At that time Ken chose another career path and served with the Winnipeg Fire Dept. from 1991 to 1994. In 1994, Ken returned to the RCMP and eventually fulfilled a lifelong dream of becoming a police dog handler. He retired in June of 2014 and had been on medical leave since October 2013. He worked with the Emergency Response Team and was awarded the Queens Jubilee Medal, the RCMP Long Service Medal and he received a Commissioners Commendation for Bravery. Ken suffered a long battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He was one of the first police officers on the scene of the beheading of a young man aboard a Greyhound bus on a Manitoba highway in 2008. Ken Barker had separated from his wife three years earlier. Two women rescued Barker from a suicide attempt in May but committed suicide in July. He told his estranged wife Shari that the front door will be open and don’t go into the basement. Shari went there and the front door was open and she called for him and he didn’t respond. She knew not to go to the basement. She called then paramedics. Ken will forever be remembered by his wife Shari, daughter Kelly and son Sam and his predeceased police service dog Axa. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Families of the RCMP for PTSD Awareness c/o rcmp-f.ca. or Little Warriors.

Officer Gary S. Knight
July 30, 2014 - Hermiston, Oregon - Age 61

Officer Gary S. Knight died on June 30, 2014 at his home in Hermiston, Oregon at the age of 61. He  attended Fresno Pacific University and the California Peace Officer Standards and Training Academy. Upon graduation he was employed by the Umatilla Tribal Police and later the City of Umatilla Police Department. During his career he was acknowledged for assisting other agencies with his K9 partner "Moose". In 2005 Gary was awarded the American Chief’s of Police "Hall of Fame" commendation medal and the law enforcement purple heart for injuries received in the line of duty while assisting with the arrest of a homicide suspect in 2001. He retired from the Umatilla Police Department with a medical retirement from those injuries. He continued to serve as a volunteer Evidence Technician for Stanfield Police Department. Gary is survived by his wife: Brenda S. Knight,  son: Travis J. Knight, Hermiston,  and daughter: Melody T. Simmons.

Robert G. Netherland
June 10, 2014 - Goochland, Virginia - Age 82

Robert Netherland passed away on 6/10/14  after a bout with silent pneumonia. He served four years during the Korean Conflict – mostly on the USS Wasp – before an honorable discharge in 1956. He help start the first Police Drug K9 school in Virginia history. Bob was one of the five original dog handlers in the state. Bob’s first dog was Major, Bob became one of the pioneers of Virginia’s drug K9 program. He was one of the original three to start the program, and even went on to write the official manual. After that, he wrote the Georgia State Highway Patrol’s K9 program’s manual. Bob spent 38 years with the Virginia State police, 27 of which were with the K9 unit. He retire until 1995. He is survived by his loving wife, Shirley Lyon Netherland; two daughters, Deborah Coleman  and Donna Roberts and son, Robert Netherland.  memorial contributions may be made to University of Virginia School of Nursing in the name of Denise Kaye Netherland Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 801015, Charlottesville, Va. 22908.

RCMP Const. Dave Ross
June 4, 2014 - Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada - Age 32

Const. Dave Ross,32, was shot and killed on 6/4/14 by a gunman identified as Justin Christian Bourque, 24, who was wearing military camouflage and wore a brown headband and heavily armed carrying two military-style assault rifles with high capacity magazines, a bow and a knife. A manhunt for the shooter was launched and continued overnight and into 5 June. On 6 June, Bourque was found at 12:10 a.m. and taken into custody, ending the approximate 28-hour manhunt. The incident began at 7:20 p.m. when police received reports of a man in camouflage carrying two long guns and a crossbow. Openly carrying non-restricted firearms in Canada is legal provided they are unloaded during transportation. Bourque ambushed the responding officers with a shootout that left three RCMP officers killed, Const Ross who joined the force in 2007, Const. Fabrice Gevaudan,45, who joined the force in 2008 and Const. Doug Larche,40, who joined the force in 2002 and two other officers shot and hospitalized for non-life threatening injuries were Const. Darlene Goguen and Const. Eric Dubois. The shooter then fled the scene. Pinehurst Park area of Moncton was locked down while the search for the shooter was in progress; public buses were pulled from the streets, and all entrances to the affected area were sealed. Multiple sightings of the suspect, including by police, continued in the second day of the manhunt. Up to 300 police personnel were involved in the search. Pedestrians and motorists were asked to stay away from the area of the search and schools, government offices, stores, and businesses were closed. Residents were later instructed to lock their doors, leave their exterior lights on, and refrain from broadcasting police movements on social media sites. The next day, police surrounded an apartment building and were broadcasting a demand to exit over a public address system. More than a dozen armed officers surrounding the building and deployed a robot with a camera inside at approximately 3:00 p.m. Minutes later, they left the apartment complex after finding no sign of the suspect. The report that called police over to the building later turned out to be a false alarm. A police helicopter with thermal -imaging cameras was searching Moncton. At least two armored cars were borrowed by the mounted police to transport heavily armed tactical team members. On June 6, 2014, at 12:10 a.m. the suspect was arrested by the RCMP after being found in a yard on Mecca Drive. While being taken into custody, he reportedly told police, "I'm done." Const. Dave Ross's K9 attended the funeral service and cried next to his handler’s casket. The funeral service was carried live on TV from the Moncton Coliseum on 6/10/14. The Moncton Coliseum was filled to capacity with 7,000 attending. Because of the large crowds attending 10 more places were made available for people which were also filled to capacity adding another 7,000 which was not including the people who showed up along the streets for the funeral. His wife Rachael picked out the song "Ten Thousand Reasons" to be played at his service. Const Ross leaves behind his wife Rachael and their one-and-a-half-year-old son, Austin — and Rachael is six months pregnant. He also leaves behind his K9 "Danny".  K9 "Danny was assigned to another handler soon after.

On June 6, 2014, Justin Christian Bourque made his first court appearance. Bourque faces three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder in connection to the shooting deaths of three RCMP officers and the wounding of two more.  Justin Bourque had no previous criminal record. On 8/8/14 Justin Bourque pleaded guilty to three counts of first degree murder. On 10/31/14 Justin Bourque was sentenced to five life sentences with chance of no parole for 75 years by Judge David Smith. At the time of his sentencing it was the longest sentence in Canadian history, and the harshest since the death penalty was abolished.

Lt. Ray Carson
May 28, 2014 - North Bay, Canada - Age 78
One of the best known cops of his era, Ray Carson passed away peacefully at the North Bay Regional Health Centre on Wednesday May 28, at the age of 78 years. Carson retired from the Ontario Provincial Police as Staff Sargent after 32 years on the force. He was responsible for the Ontario Provincial Police K9 unit for many years and was the handler of Cloud 1, Cloud 2 and Cloud 3. Cloud II, a five-year-old German shepherd, is the only OPP dog ever killed in the line of duty. He was shot in 1975 when he was involved in the search for an escaped suspected murderer. The dog was first buried at the former OPP district headquarters in North Bay. However, his remains were exhumed, cremated and relocated to the OPP Museum in Orillia. Carson spent four years handling Cloud II. Together they captured 123 criminals that were running from the law. The two also appeared on the old CBC TV game show Front Page Challenge in 1974 .  He was the beloved husband of 55 years to Audrey Carson and leaves a son, Tony. Donations to the Ontario Parkinson`s Foundation in memory of Raymond.
Cpl. David Charles Foley
May 25, 2014 - Monroe, Michigan - Age 53

Cpl. David Foley, 53, died on 5/25/14 after suffering a heart attack and collapsing while attending church services in Livonia. Foley was with his family in church when he bowed his head to pray, quietly took two breaths and collapsed. Three nurses who were at the worship service immediately began CPR but those efforts failed to revive him. Cpl. Foley was a longtime K9 handler of the Monroe Police Department and a 24-year veteran of the force. He enlisted in the United States Army, serving honorably from 1980-1986, taking courses in correspondence and serving as a K-9 officer in the military police. He often brought his tracking dogs, Colonel and Justice, to Monroe County schools and organizations for demonstrations. Cpl. Foley, was especially proud recently since his son, Matt, joined the police department and just completed his three-month probation period and his dad was looking forward to working with his son at the same profession on the same department. He was preceded by the passing of his K9 partner, Colonel.  In addition to his son, Matt, Cpl. Foley leaves behind his wife, Brenda, his son Matt and two daughters, Melissa and Elizabeth and K-9 partner, Justice.

Const. Joseph Brian Prevett
May 7, 2014 - Gravenhurst, Ont - Age 50
Const Joseph Prevett, 50, died of a heart attack on 5/7/14 at 10:45 a.m. in the area of Loon Lake Road during a tracking training exercise in Gravenhurst. Const. Joseph Prevett was participating in a training course with Ontario Provincial Police along with his new police service dog Timber. Prevett was rushed to South Muskoka Memorial Hospital in Bracebridge in medical distress and unfortunately was pronounced dead a short time later. He first became a police officer in 1998, joining the Peel Regional Police. He made the move to Thunder Bay in 2003, and quickly took over the local K-9 unit. He was paired with K-9 officer Thunder, and the two served together as partners for eight years, before Thunder, who has since died, was retired late last year. Prevett's K9 Timber attended the service along with approximately twenty other police canines. Prevett leaves behind Joe leaves behind his wife Joanne (Znachor), daughter Lindsay (Chad), and his son Nick. Donations can be made to the Thunder Bay District Humane Society and the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre Foundation - Cardiac Care Unit.
Frederick C. Feil Jr.
April 16, 2014 - Upper Township, Pennsylvania - Age 82

Frederick C. Feil Jr., 82, Upper Township, died on 4/16/14 of heart failure at his home. He was with the Philadelphia Police Department from 1966 to 1976 and served as a canine officer and worked with a Doberman pinscher named Dutch and a German shepherd named Shep. He served as an Army tank gunner during the Korean conflict, earning a Purple Heart after being wounded in combat. Because of Mr. Feil's love of the sea, his ashes were scattered at sea, off Cape Hatteras. Besides his wife Margaret, Mr. Feil is survived by son Frederick J.C. Donations may be sent to the Seeing Eye Inc., 10 Washington Valley Rd., Morristown, N.J. 07960 or to www.seeingeye.org.

Officer Jason M. Crisp
March 12, 2014 - Burke County, North Carolina - Age 38

Officer Jason Crisp, 38, and his K9 partner Maros were killed on 3/12/14. The incident started to unfold when police went to a home on 5500 block of  Fish Hatchery Road around 8:45 a.m. for a welfare check because co-workers had not seen the lady and friends told police they hadn’t seen the couple for six days. When they entered they found husband and wife, Levi and Rhonda Whisnant shot dead. Police said they were dead for at least a day. Following the welfare check, the sheriff’s office named 38-year-old Troy David Whisnant, the son of the couple, as a person of interest. Whisnant was not at his parents’ home when investigators arrived, but the discovery of the homicides of his father and step mother was just beginning of wild series incidents in the search for the suspect. Police say he broke into a neighbor’s shed, stole weapons and stole a vehicle. Authorities discovered that the door of a neighboring house near the homicide had been kicked in. After searching the home, deputies discovered five firearms – a .22 revolver, .22 rifle, 12-guage pump shotgun, single-shot 12-guage and a .50 caliber muzzle load – were missing. A .32 pistol was taken from the outbuilding. Whisnant wrecked that vehicle and fled the scene, then stealing a second car. When police spotted him driving, Whisnant abandoned the second stolen car and ran into the woods. The suspect came across a U.S. Forestry Service officer Crisp as he ran and shot and killed the officer and his K9 Maros at  2:55 p.m. in an ambush with a 12-gauge shotgun. After killing his third victim Whisnant stole the officer’s  .45-caliber pistol and magazine and fled again. The manhunt concluded when an Avery County deputy and two troopers with North Carolina Highway Patrol found Whisnant. They exchanged gunfire. At least one bullet struck and killed Whisnant at 4:45p.m.  During the violent confrontation Whisnant shot himself in the head. He was also struck by one of the officer's bullets. Around 120 to 150 officers from the BCSO, McDowell, Avery and Caldwell County sheriff’s offices, as well as the FBI, SBI, Beach Mountain Police, Morganton Department of Public Safety, Avery County Sheriff’s Office, Caldwell County, State Highway Patrol, U.S. Forest Service assisted in the manhunt. Officer Jason Crisp worked for the U.S. Forestry Service for ten years and previously served as a McDowell County Sheriff deputy. Officer Crisp's dog Maros was hurt last fall while chasing a bad guy and had broken his leg and had just returned to service a couple weeks ago. K9 Maros was cremated and placed in the casket with Officer Crisp to be buried together. Surviving are his wife of 18 years, Amanda Dicks Crisp and two sons, Garett, 16, and Logan, 5. Memorials, to benefit their children, may be made to Amanda Crisp at the State Employees Credit Union, PO Box 8, Marion, NC 28752.

Whisnant had lengthy criminal history and had more than a dozen prior charges. In February of 1996 the then 20-year-old Whisnant strolled into Burke County Sheriff’s Department on February 11, 1996 and confessed to killing his best friend, William Shane Newton, the night before. Whisnant had been abusing substances, including alcohol, prescription and nonprescription drugs since he was 12 years old. Whisnant pleaded guilty 14 months later to voluntary manslaughter in Superior Court. He was given credit for the 14 months he spent in prison before the sentencing, and was incarcerated for another year. Whisnant continued to lead a life of crime, and was later convicted on the following charges between his April 1998 release and April of 2011: felony larceny over $1,000, possession of stolen goods, credit card theft, misdemeanor possession of schedule VI controlled substance, open container of alcohol after consuming, resisting an officer, assault on a public official and reckless driving. Whisnant was awaiting trial on charges of breaking and entering, hit and run, and several traffic violations.

Ralph "Lee" McCubbins Jr.
December 26, 2013 - Helmand Province, Afghanistan - Age 43
Ralph “Lee” McCubbins, Jr., 43, of Danville, VA died December 26, 2013 in Afghanistan while working for Pax Mondial contractors. Lee was shot in the back by a sniper while jogging with his dog at the compound. The sniper was caught and has been arrested. McCubbins had been performing subcontract work at the Kajaki Dam project in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. He was there to provide security while a hydro turbine was being installed to provide electrical power to Afghanistan. Lee had signed a two-year contract and was scheduled to return to the U.S. on Jan. 15, 2013 for a 30-day vacation before heading back to Afghanistan. Lee worked for the Danville City Police Department from 1994 until 2009 where he was a member of the SWAT team and the K-9 Unit for 11 years and worked his way up to corporal. After leaving the police he then went to work in Afghanistan for Pax Mondial where he handled bomb sniffing dogs. Lee is survived by a 15 year old daughter, Victoria Logan McCubbins. He was predeceased by a newborn son, Justin Carter McCubbins, who died hours following his birth in 1997. Memorial donations can be made to Swansonville United Methodist Church Cemetery Fund at 16492 Franklin Turnpike, Dry Fork, VA 24549 or to Bachelors Hall Volunteer Fire Department at 1301 Berry Hill Road Danville VA 24541.
Jeremy Christopher Johnson
December 26, 2013 -Jacksonville, Florida - Age 34

Jeremy Christopher Johnson, age 34, died December 26, 2013 in his home at Jacksonville, FL. Jeremy completed 12 years of service as a Master at Arms, Force Protection Canine Handler, MA2, and achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer. He was deployed to Iceland and later completed 2 tours in Iraq and 1 in Djibouti, Africa. Jeremy incurred physical conditions from his tours of duty, but the PTSD he dealt with produced the greater pain and suffering. He was discharged under the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy in May of 2007. On September 22, 2011, Johnson became one of the first DADT dischargees in the nation to publicly reenlist in the military, joining the U.S. Navy Reserves at the same rank and position he left. Jeremy volunteered with The 6th Branch in Baltimore City, MD, as a board member and primary team member on "Operation: Oliver", a veteran-sponsored community revitalization project. Jeremy Johnson joined the United States Navy in December of 1996 at the age of 19. After attending boot camp, he attended career training at Fort Meade, MD for training as a military journalist. Upon graduating in 1997, he went on to serve as a regional reporter in Japan for the military’s “Pacific Report” In 1999, he transferred to Italy to work for the Sixth Fleet Public Affairs staff aboard USS LaSalle. In 2001, Johnson was chosen to return to Fort Meade to teach television broadcasting to new troops at the military’s Defense Information School. He taught more than 400 Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force personnel how to report from the frontlines though video, writing and editing. Johnson returned to duty overseas in 2004 with an assignment as program director at the U.S. Navy’s Odyssey 107.3FM in Crete, Greece. After 13 months there, Johnson moved to an assignment in Guam aboard submarine tender USS Frank Cable where he served as the assistant Public Affairs Officer for a crew of 1,200. While there, he actively brought the crew’s concerns to senior leadership and helped coordinate international coverage of the first multilateral submarine talks between Australia, Malaysia and the United States in Kuala Lumpur. In March of 2007, after 10 ½ years of service, Johnson revealed his sexual identity to his commanding officer and received an honorable discharge. He worked for Leon County Sheriffs Department in Tallahassee upon completion of his active duty in the Navy. He continued to serve his country in the Navy Reserves at Kings Bay, GA. During his Navy career, Jeremy Johnson rose to the rank of Petty Officer First Class (E6), and earned three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, a Joint Commendation Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, a National Defense Medal, a Rifle Marksmanship (Silver E) Medal, an Air Force Unit Excellence Award, a Battle "E" Ribbon, an Overseas Service Ribbon (1 silver star), a Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (2 bronze stars), and a Good Conduct medal with 2 bronze stars. He lived in Maryland and worked as a speech writer for US Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington DC. Jeremy is preceded in death by his Iraq war dog Amber. The family wants to support other soldiers like Jeremy that are suffering from the same post war conditions, this will be done by donating to the Wounded Warriors Project (CSRP) or Combat Stress Recovery Program.

David Leroy Zellers
December 11, 2013 - Fort Worth,Texas- Age 63

David L. Zellers, 63, passed away Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013. He proudly served our country in the United States Army in the Vietnam War and Afghanistan as a dog handler. In Vietnam, he was part of the 981st Sentry Dog Company. David served as a private contract dog handler later in life in Afghanistan. Survivors: His wife, Jane; daughters, Cassandra, Verity and Katherine; sons, Graham and Neil.

Officer Casey Kohlmeier
October 30, 2013 - Pontiac, Illinois - Age 29

Officer Casey Kohlmeier, 29, and his dog, Draco, were in a vehicle accident on 10/30/13. The accident was reported to state police at 9:38 p.m. Officer Kohlmeier's marked stationary patrol car was hit by another vehicle on Interstate 55 just north of Illinois 23 in Livingston County. Kohlmeier was in a median turnaround when his car was struck by a northbound vehicle. The pickup truck, driven by Jason C. Collins, 33, still was connected to the passenger side of Officer Kohlmeier’s SUV. State troopers arrived to find Kohlmeier, who was unconscious, being tended by officers from Pontiac police and the Livingston County Pro-Active Unit. Officer Kohlmeier was rushed to OSF St. James John W. Albrecht Medical Center in Pontiac where he died at 10:46 p.m.  Jason C. Collins was transferred to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria and hospitalized. Officer Kohlmeier canine Draco, who was his partner for five years, died at the scene.  It was raining at the time of the crash. Collins told police he had been drinking at a Bloomington bar before the crash, and video surveillance footage from the bar showed Collins was there for five hours. His blood alcohol level exceeded the legal driving limit of 0.08 percent. The defendant claimed he fell asleep while driving and awoke just before the crash occurred. Officer Kohlmeier was a 6 year veteran with Pontiac police department. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 2002-2006 at Offut Air Force Base in Omaha, NE. While in the service, he was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Training Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force BMT Honor Graduate Ribbon, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon with device, NCO Professional Military Education Ribbon, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, Meritorious Unit Award, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He was Airman of the Year 2005. Kohlmeier was part of the Livingston County Pro-Active Unit, which is made up of several area police departments, and hoped to join the FBI. He had just received his pilot’s license this past year. He was a Board Member of the Boys & Girls Club of Livingston County and Illinois Police Benevolent and Protective Association. Thousands attended his service  along  with  dozens  of canine officers with their K9's. Songs played at his service were Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” and John Lennon’s “Imagine”.   Kohlmeier was not married and had no children. Donations may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Livingston County or K9 Fund through the Pontiac Police Department.

Jason C. Collins, 33, of West Columbia, South Carolina, was arrested by Illinois State Police, who were investigating the crash, after he was discharged from the hospital on 11/31/13. On 11/1/13, Collins,  had bond set at $1 million by Livingston County Circuit Judge Jennifer Bauknecht. Collins was seen in a video arraignment from the Livingston County Jail, where he is being held. He is charged with two counts of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, each Class 2 felonies, punishable by three-to-14 years in prison on the aggravated DUI charge, the most serious of the charges with a limited opportunity for probation; one count of reckless homicide, a Class 3 felony, punishable by probation or a sentence of two-to-five years in prison; and two counts of driving under the influence, each Class A misdemeanors. He would be required to serve 85 percent of his sentence if he is convicted of any of the felony counts. Collins has a prior aggravated DUI in New Jersey in 2008, when he was driving under the influence and struck a pedestrian, causing severe bodily injury. He also has other charges on his record, including illegal transportation of alcohol and driving while his license was suspended. The State asked for bond to be set at $200,000 – ten percent of which would have to be paid for bail. Bauknecht took that under consideration, but chose to raise the bond to $1 million, which $100,000 would have to be posted for him to leave custody of the jail. She considered him a flight risk and added that, with the severity of the charges, the bond needed to be set higher. Livingston County Circuit Judge Jennifer Bauknecht heard his initial court appearance, but Collins has filed a preliminary motion for a reassignment of the judge. On Nov. 25 Jason Collins pleaded not guilty. A motion to reduce bond was denied by Livingston County Associate Court Judge Robert Travers on December 17, 2013. The trial has been delayed to 9 a.m. 3/17/14, with pretrial at 3:30 p.m. 2/3/14. At his last court appearance the pretrial date for August 11, 2014 was set for August 26, 2014 because both sides have not had time to prepare for a trial. On August 26, 2014 he pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated driving under the influence and one count of reckless homicide and was sentenced December 8, 2014 to twelve years

Sergeant Christopher L. Blackburn
October 12, 2013 - Bridgeton, New Jersey - Age 38

Sgt. Christopher L. Blackburn, 38, was traveling westbound on Centerton Road near Deerfield Road around 12:43 a.m. when for an unknown reason, lost control of the 2006 Ford Explorer he was driving, left the roadway and struck a utility pole. Blackburn was off duty and alone in the vehicle at the time of the crash. He was a 12-year decorated veteran of the Bridgeton Police Department. Blackburn was involved in a raid on a South Avenue house, that police had been investigating for suspected drug activity for a month. Three people were arrested without incident and police seized marijuana after executing a search warrant just a few hours before he was killed in his accident. Blackburn was decorated many times during his career. His honors included one Life Saving Medal, on K9 Medal, the Educational Achievement Medal, one Exceptional Duty Medal, three Unit Citation Medals, three Honorable Service Medals, the Firearm and Narcotic Enforcement Medals, and three Meritorious Service Medals. He also was also president of Policemen’s Benevolent Association Local 94A Superior Officers Association. He mourned the death of his K-9 partner Argos, who died this past March while in the line of duty.  He is survived by his fiance, longtime partner, Chasta  Collins Kott and his son Chris Jr.,13 years old. Chris was predeceased by an infant son, Chase, in 2007. He is also survived by his step-children, Vanessa Kott , Brooke, Britney and Tyler Kott.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Christopher Blackburn Education Fund, c/o Colonial Bank, Att.: Tonya Spindler, 85 W. Broad St., Bridgeton, NJ 08302.


Cst. Louis Beglaw
September 16, 2013 - West Vancouver, Canada - Age 50

Cst. Louis Beglaw, 50,  died after he was found in cardiac arrest  at the department's  headquarters on 9/16/13 while on duty. Cst. Beglaw joined the West Vancouver Police Department in  2003  after  a  military  career  that  culminated  with  service as the deputy commanding officer of the Royal Westminster  Regiment  of  the  Canadian  Army  Reserve. Before  that  he worked  with  Canada  Border  Service.  Cst. Beglaw was a  very dedicated  officer  who  went  through  very  extensive  training  to  became  a  police  service  dog handler in 2007. He is survived by his wife Sarah, their young son and daughter and his service dog Capone. 

Officer Paul V. Bodnar
August 30, 2013 - Monroeville, Pennsylvania - Age 45
Officer Paul V. Bodnar, 45, died on 8/30/13 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He served with the Monroeville Police Department for nineteen years. Officer Bodnar had spent seven years on the police force with his K9 partner "Czak". Bodnar worked as a trainer with the Pennsylvania Police Work Dog Association. Paul and K9 Czak were members of the North American Police Work Dog Association. He is survived by his wife, Lisa Marie (Lisovich) Bodnar; two sons, Regis, 26, Matthew, 22, two daughters;  Samantha, 18,  and Sarah Bodnar, 17. Memorial contributions may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, Grand Central Station, P.O. Box 4777, New York, NY 10163-4777.
Officer Don Darby
August 13, 2013 - Glendale Heights, Illinois - Age 38
Canine  Officer  Don  Darby, 38,  died  on   8/13/13  from  stage  four  glioblastoma,  the  most  common  and  aggressive  type  of  brain  cancer  which  was diagnosed a year earlier. His police K9 "Lucky" spent many days by his  bedside at the  hospital giving him comfort with his family. Officer Darby was with the  Glendale Heights police force for fourteen years. Officer Darby is survived by his wife Amy, two sons, Caden 8 and Andrew 5 and his K9 partner "Lucky". Donations can be made through "Friends for Don Darby" C/O FBI 4343 Commerce Court, Lisle 60532.  


Officer Jason Ellis
May 25, 2013 - Nelson County, Kentucky - Age 33

Officer Jason Ellis, 33, was shot and killed on 5/25/13 on the 34 exit ramp of the Bluegrass Parkway in Nelson County, Kentucky. Ellis was in uniform and headed home from work in a “pool car” that was marked but not his assigned vehicle and not equipped to capture video or audio. Two vehicles had stopped behind him and sat there a few minutes and saw no action, the curiosity got them, they got out to see what was going on and that's when they found Officer Ellis on the side of the road. The first sign of trouble came when a woman’s voice began frantically calling for help on the officer’s police radio at 2:53 a.m. that an officer and had been fatally struck by a vehicle. “Officer down! Officer down! Emergency!,” the woman’s voice crackled across the radio as she told dispatchers she found the officer outside the car on the side of the exit ramp car at the BG parkway Bloomfield exit. The woman’s voice was followed by that of a man, who told dispatchers he was on his way home from work and drove up to find the police cruiser in the middle of the road with its emergency lights on and the officer was outside the cruiser and was not breathing the man told dispatchers. When Trooper Mike Garyantes arrived on the scene at approximately 3:16 a.m.,  and minutes after the Trooper's arrival, he discovered that it was not a motor vehicle crash and that the officer involved had been shot multiple times with a 12-gauge shotgun and killed  outside his cruiser with its lights on and 12 gauge shotgun shell casings in the road. His service weapon was still in its holster, suggesting Ellis was ambushed. Officer Ellis did not call dispatch center that he was out on a violator, a subject or assisting anyone on the ramp. At the time of the incident, Officer Ellis did not have his dog Figo with him. Police have said it was a  premeditated ambush and involved a high level of planning and calculation. Investigators believe that the debris was planted on the road to be used as bait for the ambush. The killer most likely left the debris on the road and then hid somewhere nearby to wait for someone to pick it up. It is still unknown whether the killer intended to shoot and kill the Kentucky officer, Jason Ellis, or simply the first person who was attracted by the debris on the road. Exit 34 ramp was a daily route for Ellis. Police believe that the location was "obviously not picked randomly." The killer is still at large and a reward of $6,000 was announced on 5/27/13 for information that leads to the arrest of a suspect, raised to $10,000 on 5/28/13, increased to $10,000. on 5/29/13 to $43,000 on 5/30/13 to $103,000, on 6/3/13 to $125,000 and on 6/5/13 to $150,000 and in August of 2013 raised to $185,000 making it the largest reward for information leading to an arrest of the killer of a canine officer. Ellis was a star baseball player at Cumberland College where he holds the records for hits, batting average, doubles, home runs, runs batted in and games played and went on to play for the Cincinnati Reds farm system after college. Ellis was a seven-year veteran of the Bardstown Police Department, and the only K-9 officer. Officer Ellis is the first officer tragedy for the Bardstown Police Department. During his time as a police officer he had numerous awards and commendations including Bardstown Police Officer of the Year in 2008 and also the Governor's Award for Impaired Driving Enforcement for 2007 and 2008. He is survived by his wife, Amy Phillips Ellis; two sons, Hunter Ellis, 7, and Parker Ellis, 6. K9 Figo will be retiring from police work and will live with Ellis’ wife and children. Officer Ellis's canine, Figo, attended the funeral service along with approximately two thousand people and approximately twenty canine teams. Officer Ellis's K9 Figo passed away on 5/23/17 and his ashes will be burried next to his handler. Donations can be made to Supporting Heroes. http://www.supportingheroes.org or donate to either the officer's family or the reward fund set up through the family and the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 43: Make checks payable to Officer Jason Ellis Memorial Fund or the Officer Jason Ellis Reward Fund. Specify which fund. Checks can be sent in each fund's name to Chief Rick McCubbin, Bardstown Police Department, 212 Nelson County Plaza, Bardstown, Ky., 40004. Donations also can be made at any Muir Bank branch in Bardstown.

Cpl. David M. Sonka
May 4, 2013 - Farah Province, Afghanistan - Age 23

U.S. Marine, Cpl. David Sonka, 23, and his military K9 Flex, who was trying to save him were killed on 5/4/13 during a combat operation in Afghanistan's Farah province. Cpl. David Sonka and his dog, Flex, were killed during an insider attack. They were working with a unit that was training an Afghan National Army soldier when the Afghani man turned his weapon on the Marines. They were killed while waiting for a high-ranking U.S. officer to emerge from a meeting at an Afghan National Army base. A team of six Marines were escorting the high-ranking officer and two intelligence officers to a meeting at the Afghan Army base.  Cpl. Sonka was from Parker, Colorado. Also Staff Sgt. Eric Christian, 39, of Warwick, N.Y., also was killed in the incident. The two Marines were assigned to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Camp Lejeune, N.C. Sonka born in Aurora. He joined the Marines in August of 2008 and graduated recruit training in November 2008. During his service Sonka received numerous personal decorations, including a Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal and a Combat Action Ribbon. Sonak attended military police school, and, once finished, began courses to become a Military Working Dog handler. Assigned to the III Marine Expeditionary Force K9 Section of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in California from July 2009 to March 2012, Sonka was then deployed for Operation Enduring Freedom. Sonka was then assigned to Marine Special Operations Combat Support Battalion, Marine Special Operations Support Group at Camp Lejeune, N.C., where he completed Special Operations Training Course, and Multi-Purpose Canine Course Phase I and Phase II. From there, Sonka attached to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion as a Multi-Purpose Canine Handler. Cpl. Sonka was serving his second deployment and had just arrived in Afghanistan a few weeks prior to being killed. The Multi-Purpose Canine Kennel at Stone Bay, North Carolina, was named after him in on 9/7/15. He is survived by his wife Torey. Cpl Sonka was buried on 5/16/13 at Ft. Logan National Cemetery in Denver Colorado. Memorial donations suggested to Wounded Warrior Project or Feed the Dawgs Project, P.O. Box 533, Mentone, CA 92359-0533.

Correctional Officer Sergeant Gilbert Cortez
March 25, 2013 - Warner Springs, California - Age 46

Correctional Officer Sgt. Gilbert Cortez, 46, and his service dog, Mattie, were killed in a single car accident on 3/25/13 at 7:20 a.m. while on duty. K9 Mattie succumbed to her injuries at the scene of the crash. There were no other occupants of the vehicle when the crash occurred. Officer Cortez was leading a small caravan of five vehicles with a marked Ford Crown Victoria on State Route 79, east of Lake Henshaw, a half-mile south of San Felipe Road in the Warner Springs area. They were en route to inspect La Cima Fire Camp, an inmate-staffed back-country firefighting outpost in the Julian area where they were scheduled to search inmates for drugs and other contraband. His fellow officers who were following behind his vehicle said Cortez’s vehicle drifted to the right and he overcorrected and skidded out, overturned and rolled over side-to-side, coming to rest on its wheels after crossing the highway into a rock embankment. The officers who were following ran to the car and extricated him and performed CPR.  Medics took Cortez to a nearby fire station, where he died before he could be put into an emergency services helicopter for a flight to a trauma center. Cortez, a 23-year veteran of the state corrections agency, worked at California Rehabilitation Center in Riverside County and was part of its Southern Regional K-9 Unit. He started his career in 1990 at the California Institution for Men in Chino. A year later, he transferred to Calipatria State Prison and was assigned to the Investigative Services Unit. In 2001, he was transferred to the Norco prison to complete K-9 training. Mattie was a Belgian Malinois, donated by a private citizen in the San Diego area  and was certified to search for contraband and narcotics and partnered with Cortez since August 2011. His funeral was attended by hundreds on April 9, 2013. He is survived by his wife Nohema and two children, Andy and Marisa. 

Constable Osmaine Dean Gabourel
February 28, 2013 -Belmopan, Belize - Age 29

Osmaine Dean Gabourel died in a vehicle accident on 2/28/13 shortly after midnight just outside Punta Gorda on the main highway passing through Hopeville and Cattle Landing. The Police Canine Unit vehicle of Belmopan was heading in the direction out Punta Gorda. He was the only occupant and driver of the vehicle when it ran off the road and crashed into the concrete front section of the Southern Realty and Art gallery building. The police vehicle was extensively damaged while the badly injured police constable was found outside the vehicle on the building’s front floor concrete section which was also damaged by the impact of the vehicle leaving one of the entire front wheel torn off the vehicle and was left lodged against the building’s damaged metal design front door. Civilians who were at the scene of the accident shortly after rendered assistance and rushed seriously injured police constable to the Punta Gorda hospital where he succumbed to his injuries shortly after. Police Constable Gabourel was part of a team of four who were in Punta Gorda from the Canine Unit in Belmopan who along with two canine dogs were scheduled for a Career Day presentation that day at JC Technical High School.

Officer John Eric Clarke
February 25, 2013 - Lincoln, Nebraska - Age 43

Officer John Clarke, 43, died on 2/25/13 while off duty. Officer Clarke  finished working out on a machine at Snap Fitness, 5900 S. 85th St., around 11 a.m., sat down and fell over. A physical therapist rushed to give him CPR. Rescue workers took him to Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center where doctors pronounced him dead. Having joined the department in 1991, During his career, he served on the SWAT team, as a firearms instructor and head canine trainer. Clarke’s police dog, Beersie-Remo, will stay with another handler until the dog retires later this year, something that was scheduled before Clarke’s death. Clarke was a 21-year veteran and was was, serving as the handler for over 15 years and statewide certification trainer. Officer Clarke was a former lineman for the Husker football team. Clarke leaves behind his wife, Lisa, and their three children, daughters Chasye, Hope and son Colton. Memorials to Capitol City Christian Church, Special Olympics, and Clarke Children Education Fund, c/o Wells Fargo Bank.

Officer Kevin A. Tonn
January 15, 2013 - Galt, California - Age 35

Officer Kevin Tonn, 35, was shot and killed on 1/15/13 while responding to a possible burglary in progress on the 200 block of F Street in Galt around 11:18 a.m. Officers arrived on the scene at 11:25 a.m. and found that the door of a duplex had been kicked in.  While officers were interviewing neighbors, one of the witnesses pointed down the road to some train tracks, roughly a block away, which they thought may have been the burglary suspect shortly after 11:30 a.m. Tonn parked his patrol car along the tracks, left his canine partner, Yaro, a German shepherd, inside and tried to contact the man. Tonn attempted to approach the man, but the man became aggressive and an altercation between Tonn and the suspect ensued and he called for emergency back up at 11:34 a.m.  At some point during the struggle, the suspect pulled out a hand gun and shot Tonn once in the head and fired several shots at the second officer who responded to the burglary call. Two minutes later a second officer reported shots fired and an "officer down." The second officer, who was not hurt, was not able to return fire because of the position in which he had taken cover. Tonn also did not fire any shots. The first officer, Tonn, was transported to Kaiser Permanente South Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The shooter also died from a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and was later identified as Humphrey Kenneth Gascon Jr., 30, of Galt. As it turned out in the investigation, Gascon, the person who shot Officer Tonn had nothing to do with the burglary and was later found out that the person that did the burglary was actually a family member of the one that reported the burglary. Before joining the Galt Police Department in September 2009, Tonn previously worked in New York as a firefighter and paramedic and then a fire inspector. Prior to that, he served in the military as a police officer in the U.S. Army. His canine partner Yaro was not injured in the incident. Officer Tonn had been with the department 3 1/2 years. He was not married and didn’t have children. It is the first line-of-duty death for the Galt Police Department. Thousands attended Officer Tonn's funeral including his K9 partner Yaro along with approximately a dozen other police K9 officers with their canines. Officer Tonn received full military honors and also a  five helicopter fly over at the service. A memorial was unveiled in his honor on 1/15/15, "Kevin Tonn Fallen Heroes Memorial".  A K9  trust fund has been set up in Tonn’s name at Premier West Bank, 9340 East Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove, CA 95624. The account number is 82804382.

Humphrey Kenneth Gascon Jr. had  only minor traffic infractions, but no felony arrests. Gascon could have been arrested for carrying a loaded firearm in public.Gascon had been arrested for driving under the influence in Nevada but had no history of violent crime.


Robert Wiley Seymore
December 3, 2012 - Holly Springs, North Carolina - Age 38

Robert Seymore 38, fatally shot his wife Amber Seymore, 38, in the head on 12/3/12 at approximately 9:00 a.m. and then turned the weapon on himself commiting suicide. Robert Seymore was a former Bay Area Rapid Transit police canine officer in California for 10 years. Amber had confronted her husband about his cheating.  Amber Seymore’s mother found the bodies of her daughter and son-in-law in their bedroom lying on the floor and ran outside calling 911 and flagging down a motorist driving by who was Matt Taylor heading to work. Amber Seymore's mother  pleaded Matt Taylor to go inside the home because her son-in-law, Robert Seymore, was not supposed to be there. She told him I think he shot her. So then he said who shot her? Where is he? Is he still in there? Does he still have a gun?"  Not knowing what he would see, he went inside the couple's home where he first found their two year old toddler as he was going up the stairs, she was coming out of the kitchen. As he made his way upstairs, he found the tragic murder suicide scene. At the time they were in the process of getting a divorce. The day after Thanksgiving, Mrs Amber Seymore called police to file a domestic violence complaint. She notified police that she had found out that her husband was cheating on her and that she planned to confront him about it, but feared for her safety. She said her husband and two of her children would soon be returning home. And she would be kicking him out of the house when he gets there. She asked for a police officer to park in the street outside the house for his return, as he did not know she had found out about the affair. She also told police there were a lot of guns in the house. Police sent an officer to the area, but did not hear from Mrs Seymore again that day. The Seymore's had moved from California to North Carolina and had been living in North Carina for eighteen months. Robert had served in the U.S. Air Force for four years. Robert and Amber Seymore had three young children, Robert Seymore, Alexandra Seymore, and Abigail Seymore. Two older children, ages 6 and 8, were in elementary school at the time of the shooting. Memorial contributions may be made to Seymore Children's Fund, c/o Hope Community Church, 821 Buck Jones Rd. Raleigh, NC 27606.

Officer Vidhur Jadoo
November 7, 2012 - Howick, South Africa - Age 30
Officer Vidhur Jadoo, 30, died on 11/7/12 after being shot in the head and leg and died on the way to the hospital after responding to a robbery in progress at approximately 2:00 a.m. at Midmar Dam, South Africa. Officer Livingston Mpangase, 44, another K9 officer who was also with him was shot in the face and is critical condition after the two K9 officers were ambushed. The pair received a complaint of armed robbery at a diesel outlet in Midmar Dam. On arrival they spoke to the victim, a security guard, who informed them that two unknown men produced assault rifles and robbed him of his cell phone, wallet, his torch and diesel. The security guard also said that they fired a shot and then fled in a vehicle. The two K9 Unit policemen had taken a statement from the victim and left the dam in the direction the security guard had told them, when they noticed the suspicious behavior of five occupants in a vehicle. The members then tried to get the car to pull over but they sped off. Jadoo and his partner followed the suspects through the streets of Howick, until the suspects eventually stopped their car in the middle of Midmar Road and lay in wait with the car shut off and lights out, armed with 9mm assault rifles, until the policemen caught up with them. When the police car approached the suspect’s car, they opened fire on the officers, wounding them both. Mpangase, who was the driver, had no time to reverse but managed to return fire. However, after firing one round, his gun jammed. Several spent AK-47, R5 and 9mm cartridges were found on the scene. The suspect’s vehicle was found abandoned in the area and was searched. A Taurus Brazil revolver, a sealed packet with four electronic detonators, and ten commercial explosives and a hammer were found inside the car which are generally used in ATM bombings, Officer Vidhur Jadoo, was stationed at the Mountain Rise K9 unit and joined the police force nine years ago and was with the dog unit for five years. Officer Vidhur Jadoo was given full military honors at his funeral 11/8/12. Officer Jadoo leaves behind his wife of three years, Ashreena Jadoo.
Officer Bradley M. Fox
September 13, 2012 - Plymouth Township, Pennsylvania - Age 34
Officer Brad Fox, 34, a Plymouth Township police officer, was shot in the head and killed at approximately 6:00 p.m. on 9/13/12 following a traffic stop. At approximately 5:16 p.m., officers from the Plymouth Township Police Department were investigating a three-car accident at 1215 East Ridge Pike in the Conshohocken section of Plymouth Township. At 5:42 p.m., while conducting traffic control at the accident scene, officers observed a silver, 2006 Infiniti SUV, traveling at a high rate of speed, passing stopped traffic in the opposing lane of traffic. Officer Bradley Fox and backup began to follow the Infiniti SUV from Ridge Pike onto southbound Conshohocken Road. While traveling on Conshohocken Road, the Infiniti struck a white Chrysler 300 Sedan and fled the scene. Upon arrival at the location of the hit and run, officers were informed by another motorist that the striking vehicle drove onto Ernest Station Road. Officer Fox followed the path of the striking vehicle and found it abandoned on Ernest Station Road. Within minutes, Officer Fox and his K-9 partner Nick began a foot pursuit and radioed for backup. Officer Fox and his K9 partner pursued the suspect into an industrial area alongside the Schuylkill River Trail. Responding officers located Officer Fox on the grass between the Schuylkill River trail and the train tracks above the trail. It was apparent he had suffered a gunshot wound to the head and they called for emergency medical backup. Officer Fox was taken to Montgomery Hospital where he died and was only about six hours away from celebrating his 35th birthday. Officer Fox’s K-9 partner Nick, Belgian Malinois, suffered a graze bullet wound and received veterinary care. Both were shot with a 9mm Beretta gun Officers responded from multiple jurisdictions and immediately began to establish a perimeter to secure the area and locate Officer Fox’s killer. With assistance of multiple police agencies and canine search teams, the killer was located. He had sustained two gunshot wounds to the chest and was deceased. Preliminary investigation revealed that the killer, Andrew Charles Thomas, age 44, abandoned the stolen car he was driving, fled from the officer and was hiding on the hill above the train tracks obscured by tall weeds. Crime scene evidence indicated he ambushed Officer Fox by firing at least four shots at the officer and his K-9 partner from an elevated vantage point where Officer Fox could not view him.  Fox became a K9 officer in 2012 and recently graduated from the Philadelphia K-9 Unit in March of 2012 and was a seven year veteran of the department. Officer Brad Fox had previously served  as a U.S. Marine SSgt. for ten years and completed two tours, 2003 in Iraq and 2005-2006 in Fallujah. He was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Presidential Unit Citation, Selected Marine Corp Reserve (X3) Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and The Armed Forces Reserve Medal. Officer Fox is the first Plymouth officer killed in the line of duty. Thousands attended his funeral along with his K9 partner "Nick".  Officer Fox was buried in his uniform and received full military honors. His K-9 partner Nick was retired on 11/12/12 and given to the Fox family. Fox is survived by his wife, Lynsay, 28, who is  three months pregnant with a second child and a five month old daughter Kadence. Lynsay gave birth to Brad Fox Jr. on March 25, 2013. On September 7, 2014, Lynsay Fox, the widow of Brad Fox filed a lawsuit against the Montgomery County gun dealer who sold the gun that wound up being used to kill her her husband. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence filed the suit Monday on behalf of Lynsay Fox, claiming that In Site Firearms and its owner, a former police officer, are responsible for Fox’s death because the gun used to kill Fox was sold to a straw purchaser -- someone who buys a gun for a person who can’t purchase one themselves. In this case, the straw purchaser, Michael Henry  purchased the gun for Andrew Charles Thomas, who couldn’t buy a gun on his own because of his criminal record. Donations can be sent to: Fox Children's Fund: C/O of the Children's Fund, Continental Bank, 661 W. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19642.
Dr. Erica Williams conducted an autopsy of Officer Fox’s body. She found he suffered a single gunshot wound to the head; the manner of his death was homicide.   Dr. Erica Williams conducted an autopsy on Thomas’ body. She identified one direct contact wound to his chest and a second close contact wound to his chest. Dr. Erica Williams determined the cause of Thomas’ death was gunshot wounds to the chest; the manner of death was suicide. At the time of the incident, Thomas was on probation in Montgomery County after pleading guilty to a forgery charge on 5/22/2012. The forgery charge resulted from a 2005 incident in Upper Merion when he used $140.00 worth of counterfeit Acme gift certificates. After failing to appear for his original arraignment in 2005, the defendant had been a fugitive for seven years. Lower Merion Police successfully apprehended him on May 21, 2012 and he pleaded guilty the next day. Thomas is reported to have used up to 40 different aliases and social security numbers during his life and was the prime suspect in the disappearance of Maria C. Procopio of South Philadelphia. Procopio, 34, went missing in September of 1999 after leaving her shift at QVC in West Chester, Pa. Her body has never been found.

Michael J. Henry, 30, pleaded guilty on 3/12/13 of supplying the gun that was used in Fox’s slaying. Henry pleaded guilty to all 23 charges involving the illegal sale or transfer of firearms and lying on gun purchase applications that the guns he was buying were for himself and not anyone else. Montgomery County Judge Joseph A. Smyth,  accepted the plea. Henry allegedly purchased nine guns between April 2012 and July 2012  for Andrew Charles Thomas, including the Beretta 9 mm pistol that Thomas used to gun down Fox. Thomas would tell Henry what type of gun he wanted, give him cash to pay for the gun and, after the transaction was completed, give Henry $500 in cash for making the purchase.  Thomas was barred by law from purchasing the guns himself because he's a convicted felon. Henry was arrested on charges of the illegal sale or transfer of firearms and lying on gun-purchase applications that the guns he purchased were for himself and not anyone else. Henry, who has been held in the county prison in lieu of $1 million cash bail since his arrest Oct. 10, 2012. Henry told the judge he  has been treated at various mental health facilities for anxiety and depression. Police are calling on the public to aid investigators in trying to track down the remaining eight guns, including two rifles that Henry allegedly purchased for Thomas. The firearms that have not been recovered include: Colt .45 ACP, Colt .45 ACP Defender, Colt Mustang .380 ACP 7¾-inch Barrel, Beretta 92FS 9 mm pistol, Beretta 92FS INOX 9 mm pistol, Fabrique Nationale 57 5.7X28 pistol, Remington 750 30-06 rifle and a Stevens 200 Rifle 300 Winchester. On 8/15/13 Montgomery County Judge Joseph A. Smyth sentenced Michael J. Henry to 20 to 66 years behind bars for serving as the straw purchaser of the Beretta 9 mm pistol that was used in the slaying.

On 8/8/17 Vikki Towns-Perez, 36, mother of four who was charged in April for the “straw purchase” street transfer of nine firearms to her nephew was sentenced on 8/8/17 to five to 10 years in a state correctional facility under the Brad Fox Law. She entered a negotiated guilty plea before Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge Mary Alice Brennan on six third-degree felony counts of selling a firearm to an ineligible transferee, which were consolidated into one count for sentencing, as well as one additional count of the same charge as a felony of the second degree. The Brad Fox Law, enacted in 2013, is named for a Montgomery County police officer who was shot to death by a convicted felon that should not have had access to guns. The statute requires a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for anyone convicted on a second or subsequent offense for making a “straw purchase” of a gun. Towns-Perez, whose first name is also spelled “Vicki” in court records, was sentenced to three and a half to seven years for the first consolidated count, as well as the mandatory five to 10 years for the second count, running concurrently. County Detective David Tyler determined that Towns-Perez purchased nine handguns between February 2012 and May 2013, all of them registered in her name. Several of the guns were the same make and model, including multiple .9mm Kel-Tec hand guns. Towns-Perez, a former certified nursing assistant at the Fair Acres Geriatric Center, told investigators that she purchased all nine guns for her nephew, who she believed had been convicted of several crimes and was not able to purchase the weapons himself. The nephew would describe the model he wanted and give Towns-Perez the money to pay for the gun. Towns-Perez received $150 to $200 in cash for each purchase she made. Towns-Perez previously told ATF Special Agents Sarah Jane Serafino and Gary Malone in a 2014 interview regarding the nine purchases that all of the firearms were in a box inside a filing cabinet at her mother’s residence on McCarey Street. She told the agents that her family had temporarily moved to Ward Street because they could not pay the electric bill. When asked why she purchased several of the same make, model and caliber handguns, according to the affidavit, “she stated that some of the guns would not work correctly, so she would purchase another one of the same type.” Towns-Perez said it would be too costly to send the guns back to the manufacturer for repair and that they had no warranties. She also said she liked the “looks” of the guns, according to the affidavit. She later admitted to meeting her nephew in the 2600 block of Boyle Street in the Highland Gardens neighborhood of Chester to exchange the guns for money, according to the release. Towns-Perez’s nephew, 23-year-old Ka’Ron Ingram, was shot in the back on the night of Aug. 17, 2015. He was found unresponsive in the driver’s seat of a car that had been involved in a two-vehicle collision in the 3000 block of West 13th Street in Chester. His homicide remains unsolved. Of the nine guns Towns-Perez bought, five had been recovered by authorities as of April. All of the recovered guns were used in felony crimes. Towns-Perez was charged with nine counts each of firearm ownership and providing false information; firearm ownership and duty of another person; and tampering with public records, all felonies. She was also charged with false statements, false reports to law enforcement and related charges. The remaining charges were withdrawn under the negotiated guilty plea worked out by Deputy District Attorney George Dawson, Chief of the Anti-Violence Unit, and defense counsel Dawn Getty Sutphin.

Officer Charles Nelson Armetta
September 8, 2012 - Baltimore City, Maryland - Age 29
Officer Charles Nelson Armetta, 29, of Joppa, was an officer for Aberdeen Police Department. He died while off duty when he fell off a raised portion of the interstate in Baltimore City. MDTA police received a call at 3:15 a.m. on 9/8/12 from someone that reported a person had fallen from northbound I-95 near exit 52 for Russell Street. Police arrived on scene at 3:17 a.m. and found Mr. Armetta in a wooded area beneath the highway. He had fallen approximately 47 feet. Mr. Armetta was with eight or nine friends and family members in a limousine-type bus and the bus had pulled over on I-95 near the off ramp. Mr. Armetta was pronounced dead on the scene by Baltimore medics at 3:42 a.m. The party bus was returning from a trip to Washington, D.C. Mr. Armetta was assigned to the departments recently reinstated police dog unit. His K9 partner Maverick, a 2-year-old German shepherd was recently shipped from Europe to Castle K-9 in Pennsylvania and had been training with the New Castle County Delaware Police Department. The two just graduated a 12 week program on July 12, 2012. He had been with the department since 2007. Approximately a dozen K9 handlers with their canines attended his funeral. He is survived by his wife, Heather Lauren Armetta and a daughter, Adrianna Caprice Armetta who was turning one-year-old in two more days.  Donations can be made to the Charles Armetta Memorial, C/O Harco Federal Credit Union, 1028 Middleton Rd, Aberdeen, MD 21001.
MA2 Michael John Brodsky
July 21, 2012 - Kandahar Province, Afghanistan - Age 33
Master of Arms 2nd Class Michael J. Brodsky, 33, from Florida, died 7/21/12 from wounds he received 7/7/12 in a blast from a “dismounted improvised explosive device in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. He had lost both legs and was struggling to stay alive. Brodsky was flown to Landsthul, Germany where his mother and father were able to see him before he died. Brodsky, a U.S. Navy Military Dog Handler, was doing a tour of duty in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Brodsky was on patrol in an undisclosed area when his unit came under fire on July 7. Brodsky reportedly rushed to a nearby truck to shelter his K9 partner, Jackson. As he returned to the fire fight, Brodsky stepped on a mine. Brodsky trained bomb-sniffing dogs for the Navy and had recently re-enlisted with the military branch for another six years. Brodsky had been assigned to the San Diego-based Navy Region Southwest Security Detachment since December 2010. He enlisted in 2001, the day after the World Trade Center was attacked, and served overseas in Sasebo, Japan and Bahrain. Brodsky was awarded the Purple Heart for his bravery on July 16th. Michael is survived by his daughter Natalia.
Cpl. Joshue R. Ashley
July 19, 2012 - Helmand Province, Afghanistan - Age 23

Cpl. Joshua R. Ashley, 24, of Rancho Cucamonga, California, was killed in Afghanistan on 7/19/12 by an IED during a night operation in Helmand Province. He was a Military Police officer with the II Marine Expeditionary Force, 2nd Law Enforcement Battalion, and was a dog handler for special operations. Ashley was with his military dog Sirius, a 4-year-old male German Shepherd when he was killed. Sirius survived the incident. Ashley enlisted in the Marines in 2008 after graduating from Etiwanda High School in 2007. Ashley was deployed to Okinawa, Japan, from 2009 to 2011, and was stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina from 2011 to when he was deployed to Afghanistan in May of 2012. His awards include the Navy Achievement Medal, Navy Commendation ribbon, Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. Cpl. Joshua Ashley's military working dog Sirius was adopted by Ashley's mother, Tammie Ashley, on 2/27/2016.

PC Steve Nigel Abbott
June 15, 2012 - Kimberley, England - Age 62

Steve Abbott, 62, died on Friday 15 June, at his Kimberley home, after a heart attack. He had served the Nottinghamshire Force for 40 years. He was commended a number of times and his experience as a dog handler and trainer was invaluable. He service was with full police honors and cremated. He is survived by his wife Mary.

Sgt. Robert Warren Crapse Sr.
June 15, 2012 - Bryan County, Georgia - Age 32

Sheriff's Deputy, Robert Crapse, 32, was killed at 2:15 a.m. on 6/15/12 in the northbound lanes of I-95 when a driver going the wrong way on Interstate 95 struck his cruiser head on. Sheriff's Deputy, Robert Crapse, who resided in Ellabell, had been working traffic control and was headed back to the north end of the county when the accident occurred and was not wearing his seat belt. The crash happened near mile marker 97 which is between the I-16 and Highway 204 exits. Crapse had his K9 “Seppe”, a Belgian Malinois, with him at the time of the accident and his K9 survived with just a scraps and bruises. The driver of the other car , 23-year-old Patricia Ann Collins, of Richmond Hill was driving a white Toyota Corolla  car . Crapse died at the scene. Collins, who was wearing a seat belt was airlifted to Memorial University Medical Center with life threatening injuries. Chatham Metro Police dispatch had actually received seven calls of a vehicle traveling the wrong way down the interstate just before the call came in about the deadly crash. Police put out a BOLLO in Chatham County, but that Crapse would not have heard it. Law Enforcement in Bryan County has access to Chatham dispatch, but would have to manual switch the radio to hear it. A second Bryan County Deputy pulled Deputy Crapse from his vehicle after the accident. He had been following him home after their shift. Crapse started his law enforcement career working at a detention center in 1999, when he was about 19 years old and then became a deputy in 2006. Crapse was promoted from Cpl. to Sgt. about two hours after his death. An estimated 800 people attended the funeral service. Canine Seppe will be retired and given to Crapse's family. Crapse leaves behind a wife of eleven years Ashli Crapse and three children, one son Robert Warren “Robby” Crapse, Jr. and two daughters Sarah Lynn and Natalie Faye Crapse. Ages of his children are 6,8, and 10. A fund to benefit the family of Bryan County Deputy Sheriff Robert Crapse has been set up at the Heritage Bank, 16 Railroad Street East, in Pembroke. The bank may be contacted at 912-653-2265. You can donate to the "Crapse Family Memorial Fund", account #41894833 at any Heritage Bank. 

Patricia Ann Collins’ blood-alcohol level was approaching twice the legal limit when the car she was driving the wrong way on Interstate 95 collided with Bryan County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Sgt. Bobby Crapse’s vehicle and killed him. A Traffic Crash Report  released on 7/17/12 showed that A blood sample taken from her at Memorial and tested by the GBI showed Collin’s blood-alcohol content was .139 after she arrived at the hospital. Driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more is considered driving under the influence in Georgia. On May 10, 2014,  Patricia Ann Collins, entered an open-ended guilty plea to charges stemming from the June 15, 2012, two-car crash that killed Bryan County sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Robert Warren “Bobby” Crapse.  Collins on 4/29/14 entered a plea of guilty to vehicular homicide and DUI charges stemming from the two-car crash that killed Bryan County sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Robert Warren “Bobby” Crapse. Chatham County Superior Court Judge Timothy R. Walmsley sentenced Patricia Ann Collins on 4/29/14 to 15 years in prison with 7 to serve for the 2012 traffic death of Bryan County sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Robert Warren “Bobby” Crapse. Collins is to have no contact with the victim’s family and undergo continued evaluation for substance abuse. Collins’ blood alcohol level was a .138 and earlier had a registered .185 at the hospital. It is illegal to drive in Georgia with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or greater.

MA2 Sean Brazas
May 30, 2012 - Panjwa'l, Afghanistan - Age 26

Sean Brazas, 26, U.S. Navy Master at Arms 2nd Class, died on May 30, 2012. Brazas arrived in Afghanistan on May 1, his birthday,  and was killed by a single bullet while helping a fellow serviceman into a helicopter during "combat operations in Panjwa'l, Afghanistan. Brazas's working dog and partner, Sicario, was reportedly treated for heat exhaustion that day but was not injured in the ambush attack. Originally he is from Greensboro, NC. In April, just before the pair deployed, Brazas and Sicario went through the Inter-Service Advance Skills K9 course, the three-week, Marine-run training program based out of Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma, AZ. Upon completion of the course the pair received high honors, claiming the Top Dog Award. Brazas was assigned to Naval Base Kitsap Security Detachment in Bremerton, Wash. Sean Brazas was buried June 19, 2012 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia with approximately 150 in attendance.  Approximately fifteen Navy Military Working Dogs were at attendance at his funeral. Brazas is survived by his wife, Allie Marie Brazas, and their 13-month-old daughter, Addisen Jade Hasenwinkel, both of Bremerton, WA. The family requests that donations in his name be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Cpl. Keaton G. Coffey
May 24, 2012 - Helmand Province, Afghanistan - Age 22

CPL Keaton G. Coffey, 22, died on May 24, 2012 while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, his dog, Denny, survived. He was from Boring, Oregon. Keaton enlisted in the USMC in August of 2008. CPL Keaton G. Coffey was on his second tour of duty. He was assigned to 1st Law Enforcement Battalion, 1st Marine Headquarters Group, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, where he was a working dog handler out of Camp Pendleton, Calif. On Nov. 19, 2011, Keaton proposed to his best friend and soul mate, Brittany Dygert. They were planning to be married on July 14, 2012. A bagpipe played Amazing Grace at his funeral on 6/4/12. and his service was with full military honors rendered by the U.S. Marine Corps at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon.  The charities selected by the family are: the Fisher House for Families of the Fallen, the United States War Dogs Association, the Wounded Warrior Project or to the Keaton Coffey Scholarship Fund at Damascus Christian School.

Ofc. Richard Wayne Johnson
May 20, 2012 - Arp, Texas - Age 37

Officer Richard Wayne Johnson, 37, was killed in an off duty car crash on Interstate-20 near mile marker 628 at about 1:13 p.m. on 5/20/12. Johnson was the K-9 unit officer for the Arp Police Department for two years and he was the Arp Independent School District Resource Officer. At the time of the crash, Johnson was traveling west on the Interstate with his two daughters, ages 17 and 7, when he apparently lost control of the vehicle due to a blown tire, struck a median and veered into oncoming traffic and overturned. He was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing a seatbelt. His daughters were uninjured in the crash. He is survived two daughters, Alyson and Nicole Johnson; two stepsons, Colton and Corey Vance. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to American State Bank of Arp, c/o of Alyson and Nicole Johnson, P.O. Box 100, Arp, 75750.

Sgt. Dick Alson Lee Jr.
April 26, 2012 -Ghanzi Province, Afghanistan - Age 31

Military canine handler, Sgt. Dick A. Lee Jr, 31, was killed on April 26, in Afghanistan along with his bomb-detecting dog, a German shepherd named Fibi . Sgt. Dick A. Lee Jr., had been in Afghanistan 23 days and was on his deployment's first mission. few weeks ago to handle dogs trained to sniff for explosives. He was killed when a vehicle he was riding in encountered an improvised explosive device. He was killed while serving in Ghanzi Province, Afghanistan. Also Staff Sgt. Brandon F. Eggleston died from injuries with Sgt. Dick A. Lee Jr. who was also in the vehicle when they struck an improvised explosive device. Lee, 31, had signed up for the Army during his senior year at Keystone Heights High, aiming at a career as a military policeman when he graduated in 2000. He was 12 years into his service, he planned to stay until he could retire, then find work as a police officer. Lee was assigned to the 95th Military Police Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade, part of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command in Sembach, Germany. He is survived by his wife, Katherine G. Lee, and two sons, David and Joshua, in Germany and were from of Orange Park, Fla. Approximately five hundred people attended his service. Donations for the family may be made to the Sgt. Lee Memorial Fund established at Capital City Bank by the American Legion Keystone-Melrose Post 202.

Ofc. Scott Dietz
April 21, 2012 - Chicago, Illinois - Age 60

Scott Dietz, 60, died of a heart attack.  He was a retired police canine handler who worked in the 16th and 20th police districts. He later worked at O’Hare Airport with  his trusted bomb-sniffing dog Bart investigating unattended luggage and stalled vehicles. He was a dog handler at O’Hare until his retirement nearly two years ago. They were often called on to sweep Air Force One and VIP motorcades for explosives  for U.S. presidents and vice presidents, and kings and queens.  Other police K9 officers paid tribute to him by bringing their partners to Cooney’s Funeral Home. He and Bart, a yellow Labrador retriever, were inseparable and even retired together. So it was fitting that Bart stayed next to his master’s body at the funeral parlor. Mr. Dietz is also survived by his children, Christopher and Colleen.

Deputy Sheriff Brian Edward Hayden
April 19, 2012 - Soper, Oklahoma - Age 47

Choctaw County Deputy Sheriff Brian Hayden, 47, was killed in a collision with another while both were responding to assist a third officer on 4/19/12. The crash occurred at about 9:30 p.m. on U.S. 70, 3.2 miles west of Soper. Hayden collided with Choctaw tribal police Officer Josiah Moore, 29. Hayden died as a result of injuries suffered in the crash, and was pronounced dead on arrival at Choctaw Memorial Hospital in Hugo. Moore was rushed to Medical Center of Plano (Texas). The two were separately responding to a call to assist a Choctaw County deputy with shots fired. Both were wearing seat belts and had lights and sirens activated. The collision occurred when Hayden turned left onto a county road and Moore's car struck his pickup's driver side door. Before going to work as a Deputy for the Choctaw County Sheriff’s Office for four months, in 1986, he joined the USAF and served out county for 20 years, retiring as a Master Sergeant in Security Forces. He did many tours overseas as well as personal security for 3 different US Presidents. During his military career, he also served as a reserve officer for Spencer, Oklahoma, Oklahoma County and Nicoma Park, Oklahoma. After his USAF retirement, he served full-time as the Nicoma Park K9 Officer. In December 2011, he moved closer to home and became the first K9 Deputy for Choctaw County, Oklahoma. Choctaw Deputy Bryan Hadyen spent his last moments in his patrol car with his K9 companion Sampson. K9 Sampson will continue to still serve Choctaw County. Nearly 400 people came together to honor a fallen man in uniform. Deputy Hayden was cremated and his organs donated. Deputy Hayden leaves behind his wife, Tabitha Hayden; his children, Jessica, Andrew, Hilly, James, Wyatt, Austin, Jacqualyne and Kelly and his K9 partner “Sampson”. A memorial fund has been established in Brian’s honor at the First Bank of Hugo where donations may be made. The address is First Bank of Hugo, Brian and Tabitha Hayden, 1501 E. Jackson, Hugo, OK 74743.

Sgt. Scott Tatrow
April 14, 2012 - Wayland, Michigan - Age 46

Sgt. Scott Tatrow, 46, with the Allegan County Sheriff's Department died unexpectedly after being rushed from his Wayland home by ambulance to Metropolitan Hospital with a very high temperature of 107 degrees on 4/14/12. He was pronounced dead at the hospital at 1:15 a.m. Tatrow was a decorated and skilled officer who served as a K9 Dog handler, Tactical Team (SWAT) member, Michigan Sheriff's Association Mission Team Investigator and was part of the original Allegan County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard. His work was also recognized with many awards including a 2003 letter of Commendation for Law Enforcement Service, a 2004 letter of appreciation for years of service to the Tactical Team, a 2007 letter of Commendation for Law Enforcement Service, and 2009 Allegan County Sheriff's Office Certificate of Professional Excellence. Sgt. Tatrow was a handler for K9 Jock, a Belgian Malinois, who earned the reputation as being one of the top narcotic detector dogs in the nation. Tatrow had recently returned from a trip. After he was taken to the hospital, firefighters went to Tatrow's home dressed in HazMat gear to remove clothing and other items to have them checked amid concerns that an infection may have contributed to his death.  An autopsy performed showed that he died from E. coli stemming from a urinary tract infection. Sgt.Tatrow was a 19-year veteran of the sheriff's office, joining the staff March 22, 1993.  Tatrow is survived by his wife Lynn of 22 years and two children, Dekota Tatrow and Jessica Lambright. Memorial Contributions may be made to "Thin Blue Line" of Michigan.

LCpl Abraham Tarwoe
April 12, 2012 - Helmand, Afghanistan - Age 25
Lance Corpral Abraham Tarwoe was killed on 4/12/12 in Afghanistan. His K9, Yeager, survived. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. At the age of seven he and his family left Liberia to escape the civil war there and made his home in Providence, Rhode Island. Lance Corpral Abraham Tarwoe joined the Marines in June of 2009. He leaves behind his wife, Juah Kelly, and their 18-month-old son, Avant. His body was flown on May 5 to his county where he was born in Liberia, for burial. Lance Corpral Abraham Tarwoe received the Purple Heart.
Deputy Jim St. Pierre
March 24, 2012 - Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan - Age 51

Deputy Jim St Pierre died of a heart attack on the morning of 3/24/12 in Tarin Kowt in southern Afghanistan. He worked for the Pasco Sheriff's Department in Florida and had worked with a few K9 partners. He worked with his first K9 “Bullet” in 1986 and both responded   to an emergency situation at a house to calm Herman Hendrix, a 62-year-old man who had a lengthy criminal record. He was drunk and threatening violence. He pointed a shotgun at deputies and ran behind a shed. St. Pierre unleashed Bullet, an 80-pound German shepherd. St. Pierre, then 26 and in only his third year on the job, heard another blast. He expected Hendrix had shot his dog, and suddenly the gunman came around the corner of the shed. St. Pierre, ordered the man to drop the gun. When Hendrix refused, the deputy St. Pierre shot six times from 15 feet. Hendrix died at the scene. K9 Bullet sustained a minor pellet wound. In September 1993, he and his second canine partner, Puma, tracked a man wanted in New Port Richey in two stabbings. The man lunged at them with a razor-blade knife, slashing both. Puma's days as a police dog were done, though he continued to live with the St. Pierres. He was hired by American K-9 Detection Services to work with dogs trained to root out narcotics. He is survived by his ex wife Tina and children, Angie, Timmy and Kalah. St. Pierre was returning to Florida in 56 days.

Officer Jerome "Jerry" Larson
January 24, 2012 - Duluth, Minnesota  - Age 68

Jerome "Jerry" Larson, 68, died on January 24, 2012, at home after a battle with cancer. He served in the Army, 101st Airborne Division, where he earned both Airborne and Ranger tabs. He had spent much of his life handling and training police dogs, and serving as a mentor to the next generation of handlers. In 1976 he took the initiative to acquire and train 2-year-old German Shepherd, Joe, and talked the department into adding him to the force.  Larson and Joe worked some memorable cases in their five-or-so years together on the Duluth police force.  In 1981, after Joe started to slow down, Larson retired his K-9 partner. He founded the Police K-9 Association for Duluth and became the first K-9 Officer in Duluth history. He was thoroughly respected throughout the county for his knowledge, skill, and experience working with police K-9s. Many of the K-9s he trained became nationally known for their excellent work within Police K-9 Association. After Larson retired from the force in 1990, he still trained and mentored other dogs and handlers. In 1992, Larson was brought out of retirement to conduct the training for his police department. Many said some techniques Larson taught back then were ahead of their time, and picked up by other departments years later. He is survived by a daughter, Wanda, and two sons, Jerry and Scott. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in his name to the Duluth Police K-9 Fund, Attn: Gordon Ramsay, at 211 W. 1st. St., Duluth MN, 55802.

Sgt. Mark Patrick Day
December 22, 2011 - Renton, Washington  - Age 62

Retired Renton Police Sergeant Mark Day, 62, died on December 22, 2011, following a fifteen year battle with cancer. At age 38, he made the decision to pursue a career in law enforcement. Sergeant Day graduated first in class overall in 1987 from the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, Law Enforcement Academy, and joined the Renton Police Department later that year. Sergeant Day worked for the Renton Police for 23 years, retiring October 31, 2010. During his career Sergeant Day rose through the ranks, eventually becoming an Acting Commander and ultimately a Sergeant in the Investigations Division. Sergeant Day was selected by the Renton Police Department as the Employee of the Quarter twice: first in 1997, and again in 2008. In 1990 Sergeant Day was awarded a position on the Canine Unit, and was assigned a German Shepherd puppy named Buck as part of the City’s “Puppy Program.” K9 Officer Buck partnered with Sergeant Day until 1997, when the Buck retired from the police force to live out his days with the Day family. Sergeant Day went on to lead and train the Renton Police Department Canine Teams, ultimately becoming a Master Canine Trainer in 2001. The dynamic duo of Day and Buck arrested over 200 suspects including a person who kidnapped a four-year-old and two homicide suspects, one in Tukwila another in Seattle. Buck passed away on July 9, 2001 also from cancer. A book was written about Day and Buck both dealing with cancer at the same time, with the animal dying in his arms. Ted Koppel, formerly of ABC-TV's "Nightline," interviewed him after learning that Day was going to have another of his tracking dogs blessed at his Catholic church, which stirred some national controversy. Sergeant Day graduated from Renton High School in 1968. While at Renton, Day was student body president his senior year, chosen for the high school All-American Football Team in 1967, and was captain of the football and track teams in both 1967 and 1968.  He earned a full athletic scholarship to the University of Washington and played with Stanford's Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jim Plunkett. Sergeant Day is survived by his wife of over 40 years, Marcia Day; his three grown children: Natalie , Kyle , and Aaron.

Officer Darren Kunz
December 17, 2011 - Fergus Fall, Minnesota  - Age 40

Darren Kunz, 40, of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, passed away on 2/17/11 under the care of Lakeland Hospice at Sheridan House after nearly a year long battle with lung and brain cancer. Darren attended Alexandria Technical College, graduating with top honors from the Law Enforcement Program in 1997. After school, Darren worked part time for the Pelican Rapids Police Department and later the Fergus Falls Police Department. A short time later, Darren went to work for the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Department full time. Darren was a SWAT Team member and instrumental in bringing in the departments first narcotics-only canine, closing several cases and winning numerous awards. Darren won a Meritorious Service Award from the Chiefs of Police for his part in dealing with a chainsaw-wielding suspect. Darren is survived by his wife, Beth, his daughter Elizabeth, 2, step daughters, Nichelle, 16, and Chelsea,10, step son, Nathan, 14, and his beloved K9, Nijka. Anyone wishing to contribute can send donations to: Beth Kunz, 514 West Laurel, Fergus Falls, MN 56537.

Corporal Rohan "Roti" Richardson
December 6, 2011 - Antigua - Age ?

Corporal Rohan Richardson, of the Royal Police Force, died on December 6, 2011 at Mount St John’s Medical Centre  after suddenly falling ill.  Richardson was found when Richardson’s fiancée and  live-in companion, also a member of the force, was trying to get a hold of him but was unable to do so. The woman had  forgotten her cell phone at home and wanted him to deliver it to her. After calling his phone for some time without answer, the female officer asked her daughter to go to the house to check on the police corporal. It was at this time that Richardson was found in the bathroom by his stepdaughter lying on the bathroom floor conscious at the time but unable to communicate. He might have fallen and hit his head. Emergency Medical Service (EMS) was summoned to the scene. He was rushed to Mount St John’s Medical Centre, where he was later pronounced dead. Corporal Richardson headed the Canine Unit since its establishment over three years ago.

Officer Kevin Weber
November 3, 2011 - Fort Wayne, Indiana - Age 55
Kevin Weber died on November 3, 2011 from  glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer that he was diagnosed with in April and went out on medical leave. He served his country in the US Navy and was employed at the Baer Field Airport Department of Safety, the Allen County Police Department, and was a police officer for the Fort Wayne Police Department for 31 years, 24 of his years on the department were spent as a K-9 officer. Weber graduated from K-9 training in 1987 and became a trainer in 1994. Kevin was a nationally accredited Master Trainer, certified by the North American Police Work Dog Association, and had the privalege of training police work dogs and handlers throughout the country for the past 17 years. Weber’s first dog, Zak, became the first certified narcotic-detection dog for Fort Wayne police. Another of his dogs, Badge, was cross-trained to track people and detect bombs and drugs.  He is survived by his daughter, Megan, 21; sons, Matt, 19 and Kevin Jr, 13; and former wife and mother of the children, Stacey. Donations can be made to Visiting Nurse & Hospice Home, Cancer Services or the Fallen Hero Fund.
Officer Derek Kotecki
October 12, 2011 - Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania - Age 40



Officer Derek Kotecki, 40, was shot and killed in on 10/12/11 at approximately 7:00 p.m. while responding to a Dairy Queen to arrest Charlie Arthur Post, 33, who was wanted for an incident that occurred earlier on October 2nd on charges including attempted homicide and aggravated assault for allegedly firing several shots at his boss, Terry Janosky, 44, a New Kensington building contractor. Janosky told police he had a dispute with Post and agreed to meet him in a motel parking lot, only to have Post scream and open fire when he arrived. Janosky was not hurt. There were three bullet holes on the driver's side of Janosky's truck from a large caliber handgun, including one right above the driver's side window. Police recovered 12 shell casings at the scene. Police knew that Post was dangerous and a Lower Burrell detective had reached Post by cell phone after the Oct. 2 incident and tried to convince Post to turn himself in. When Police learned he was at the Dairy Queen on 10/12/11 several officers were converging on the scene to make the arrest and Kotecki was among the first to arrive at the Dairy Queen which is located on on Greensburg Road, near the Plum/Lower Burrell border. Post saw the officers approaching and he stepped out of a Jeep he was driving and opened fire. Kotecki was only ten minutes into his shift when he was felled by the gunfire. Officer Kotecti died from gunshot wounds to the head, left arm and abdomen. Witnesses said Post lay in the rear of the Jeep holding a pistol, and as Kotecki got out of his SUV with Odin, Post fired the gun through the closed back window, shattering it. Post tried to escape, but came to a fence that he could not scale. He turned back toward the police officers and shot himself. At the same instant, the officers fired at Post. Post died from gunshot wounds to the head, chest and abdomen. Kotecki was an 18-year veteran with the Lower Burrell Police Department and was the department's K-9 officer. Officer Kotecki's first K9 Benny retired and died and was replaced by Odin, Kotecki's K9 partner at the time of his death.  Kotecki's K-9 had to be muzzled after the shooting and led away because the animal would not leave the slain officer's body. Officer Kotecki studied criminal justice at Mercyhurst College in Erie. In 1992, just before joining Lower Burrell's force, he worked as an officer in Ocean City, Md. A horse-drawn carriage carried Officer Kotecki's body to the church for the service. Officer Kotecki's funeral was attended by approximately four thousand people and about fifty K9 officer's attended with their K9'S. A gray hearse with Kotecki's body was led into the cemetery  with a riderless horse. The empty saddle and glossy riding boots facing rearward in the stirrups is a traditional military honor. Seven officers used ceremonial shotguns to fire three times each for the 21-gun salute. Moments later, a state police helicopter flew low over the cemetery to pay respects. A combined bagpipe and drum corps performed "Amazing Grace." A little bit later, a flight of white doves was released. Officer Kotecki's K9 Odin was retired and given to Kotecki's family. Kotecki is survived by his wife, Julie J. Nash Kotecki and two sons, Nicholas Bert Kotecki,13, and Alexander Bert Kotecki,11 and his K9 partner "Odin". A fund has been set up for the Kotecki family in honor of our fallen Police Officer Derek Kotecki at the following: S&T Bank, 4251 Old William Penn Highway, Murrysville, PA  15668 or Derek Kotecki Memorial Fund, C/O Fraternal Order of Police, Allegheny Valley Lodge #39. Make checks payable to: Derek Kotecki Memorial Fund.

On 6/16/14 Amanda Christyn Walters, 25,  was sentenced to two years' probation for helping fugitive Charlie Post elude capture in the days before he killed Lower Burrell Patrolman Derek Kotecki.  Westmoreland County President Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr. handed down the sentence. McCormick instructed Walters to enroll in a high school diploma equivalency program and not to have contact with the Kotecki family. Amanda Walters Aunt Nicole M. Walters 39, of Lower Burrell, was sentenced to two years of probation with six months of house arrest a week before Amanda's sentence. Walters was ordered to submit to random drug-and-alcohol testing during probation and pay court costs. She must pay for mental health and drug and alcohol evaluations and counseling, if the evaluation shows the need.

On 11/19/16 approximately 100 people attended a dedication of a city park in Kotecki's honor for the unveiling of the new entryway arch. The arch bears Kotecki's name and replica badge. Kentucky artist Stephen Paulovich, a New Kensington native, created a replica of Lower Burrell K-9 Officer Derek Kotecki's police badge; the 6-foot sculpture hangs above the new entrance to Officer Kotecki Memorial Park and a sculpted bust of Odin, Kotecki's canine partner, was mounted on a brick pillar below the badge. More than 50 people and businesses contributed to all aspects of the entrance, including the design and landscaping, forming and erecting the steel arch, building the masonry pillars, and crafting and hanging the sculptural elements. The columns supporting the arch are called cruciform beams because of their strength and cross-shaped symbolism and also appropriate was the name of the paint — “honorable blue” — chosen to coat the metal. The road below the arch will be paved, landscaping finished and plaques recognizing Kotecki and donors added to the pillars.

Police agencies across the Alle-Kiski Valley -- including New Kensington, Lower Burrell, Allegheny Township, Harrison, Springdale Township, Indiana Township, Tarentum and Plum -- have charged Charles Post with a slew of minor offenses over the past 17 years, including numerous incidents of traffic violations, disorderly conduct and harassment. Of the 50 different incidents, here are some examples:

• Oct. 2011: New Kensington police charged Post with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, theft, reckless endangerment and other charges.

• Dec. 2010: Lower Burrell police charged Post with possession of drug paraphernalia and six summary driving citations. All charges except for paraphernalia and driving with suspended license were withdrawn. He failed to appear for a guilty plea before Judge John Blahovec on Oct. 7, 2011.

• March 2002: Lower Burrell charged Post with aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. An arrest warrant issued in 2005 because he tested positive for opiates and cocaine, a violation of his parole or bail.

• Oct. 2001: Lower Burrell police -- Kotecki -- cited Post for criminal mischief. He was found not guilty.

• Aug. 1999: Leechburg charged Post with driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license and another traffic citation. He pleaded guilty to drunken driving, while the other charges were withdrawn.

• Aug. 1999: Lower Burrell police cited Post for a traffic violation.

• April 1997: Lower Burrell charged Post with drunken driving and a summary count of buying alcohol as a minor.

Staff Sgt. Christopher Diaz
September 28, 2011 - Helmand Province, Afghanistan - Age 27
Staff Sgt. Christopher Diaz, 27, was killed on September 28 after being wounded while rushing to the aid of a comrade who had been shot when he was killed by an IED during combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. As a working dog handler he achieved almost unparalleled professional success, including being selected to attend an advanced training program for several months in Israel. After completing the course, Diaz was one of only a handful of dog handlers in the Corps to have the qualifications he possessed. His skill and professionalism lead to him being chosen to support reconnaissance and special forces in some of the most dangerous places in Afghanistan. During his eight years of loyal service he did one tour in Iraq, one tour in Israel, and one tour in Afghanistan. This was his first deployment to Afghanistan. He deployed in May to Afghanistan and was due to return in late December. His awards include the Combat Action Ribbon, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Navy And Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Certificate Of Commendation ( Individual Award ) Letter Of Appreciation and Purple Heart. He is survived by his family a young daughter, Mia E. Davis and young son, Jeremy C. Diaz. and K9 partner "Dino". His Funeral was held in El Paso, Texas on 10/10/11 and more than one thousand people attended his funeral. He was buried at  Fort Bliss National Cemetery with full military honors. The fallen Marine's father, asked the military if his family could adopt Dino but, military officials initially denied the request, saying Dino, who specialized in finding explosives, was too young. However the request was granted to the  family's request on 5/29/14. The Diaz family officially adopted Dino in a ceremony held at Camp Pendleton on 6/7/14.
Sgt. Mycal Lee Prince
September 15, 2011 - Laghman Province, Afghanistan - Age 28
Sergeant Mycal L. Prince of Minco, Oklahoma was killed in Laghman Province in Afghanistan on September 15, 2011 from injuries sustained during an insurgent attack. His unit was fired upon by insurgents using rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire. Prince was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Brigade Combat Team in the Oklahoma National Guard, which is based out of Edmond and headquartered in Stillwater. His unit was deployed to Afghanistan in March of 2011. He joined the Guard five days after his 17th birthday and served over ten years. He deployed to assist the people of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and went to Iraq in 2008.  Mycal worked for Rush Springs Police Department for three years  then worked for Minco Police Department as a K9 officer with his K9 partner  "Bayca" for the past two years before being deployed to Afghanistan. While with the Minco Police Department, Officer Prince and K9 Bayca helped with drug interdiction. The military presented seven awards to Sgt. Prince's family, including a purple heart. Prince leaves behind his wife Surana Smith Mycal and two young daughters, Raelynn and Mycaela. Sergeant Mycal was buried on 9/26/11 at Bradley Cemetery in Bradley Oklahoma. First National Bank and Trust has set up a fund to help the family. Donations can be made in the Prince family name.   
Officer Thokozani Patrick Ngcobo
August 9, 2011 - Ladysmith, South Africa - Age 47
Officer Thokozani Ngcobo, of Ladysmith South Africa was shot and killed on 8/9/11 in his vehicle at 7:00 p.m. by gunmen when he arrived home in his drive-way .  Ngcobo had been a dedicated member of the Ladysmith K9 unit for 15 years and served as a police officer for 24 years. After Officer Ngcobo was shot the suspects ran off. Ngcobo was taken to hospital by his neighbor and pronounced dead on arrival. He died as a result of multiple bullet wounds. Ngcobo had just arrived home in his police uniform from work but had taken his protective vest off.  He was expected to give evidence at the trial of six men, including an ex-colleague charged with a money-in-transit robbery in October 2009 in which three people were killed. Ngcobo had reportedly declined to enter a witness protection program. He leaves a wife and two children. The ones accused of the heist facing trial in the high court are Jerody Mthimunye (34), Philemon Nhleko (38), Ewat Ndubuko, Zikethela Sokhela (30), Mandla Maloi (37) and former Ladysmith police sergeant Siyabonga Nkwanyana (39).  No arrests have been made at this stage and police are still investigating.  He is survived by his wife and two children. A reward of R25 000 ( $ 3,279 US dollars ) was offered on 3/15/2012  for any information that leads to the capture of those who assassinated him.
Navy Seal John Douangdara
August 6, 2011 - Wardak Province, Afghanistan,  - Age 26
Navy Seal, Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) John Douangdara, 26, of South Sioux City, Neb. a dog handler, was killed on 8/6/11 along with his  K9 Bart. They were in a Chinook helicopter and had rushed to the mountainous area to help a US army ranger unit under fire from insurgents. The team of reinforcements had completed the mission, subduing the attackers who had the rangers pinned down, and were departing in their Chinook helicopter when the aircraft was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. The brave American troops Killed In Action were brought back to the U.S. on August 10, 2011 and embraced by the families and President Obama. He was a very dedicated K9 handler and  participated in many training seminars held around the U.S. He enlisted in the United States Navy in February 2003. After graduating Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill., in April 2003, he reported to his initial service school training at Norfolk. Upon completion of his initial training, he reported to Naval Air Station Sigonella Security Detachment, Sicily in June 2003. In August 2006, he reported to Public/Ordnance Safety Security Force, New London, Groton, Conn. He then reported to his East Coast based SEAL Team in January 2008. He was the lead dog handler for the elite Seal Team Six, the same elite unit that killed Osama bin Laden. Petty Officer Douangdara’s awards include the Bronze Star with “V” device, Joint Service Commendation Medal with “V” Device, Army Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (3), Rifle Marksmanship Medal, and the Pistol Marksmanship Medal. John Douangdara was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on 8/26/11. A John Douangdara Memorial Statue, a bronze half life-sized statue of him and his combat dog Bart was sculpted by Susan Bahary and was unveiled on Memorial Day 5/27/13 at the fifty five acre Siouxland Freedom Park in South Sioux City, Nebraska. Memorial donations may be sent to John Douangdara Memorial Fund at the Siouxland Federal Credit Union, 3000 Plaza Drive, South Sioux City, NE 68776.

Other Navy Seals killed in the Chinook helicopter with him were Petty Officer 1st Class Derek C. Benson, 28, of Angwin, Calif., Chief Petty Officer Brian R. Bill, 31, of Stamford, Conn., Petty Officer 1st Class (Parachutist) Christopher G. Campbell, 36, of Jacksonville, N.C., Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Jared W. Day, 28, of Taylorsville, Utah, Chief Petty Officer John W. Faas, 31, of Minneapolis, Minn., Chief Petty Officer Kevin A. Houston, 35, of West Hyannisport, Mass., Lt. Cmdr. Jonas B. Kelsall,  32, of Shreveport, La., Master Chief Petty Officer Lou J. Langlais, 44, of Santa Barbara, Calif., Chief Petty Officer Matt D. Mason, 37, of Kansas City, Mo., Chief Petty Officer Stephen M. Mills, 35, of Fort Worth, Texas, Petty Officer 1st Class Jesse D. Pittman, 27, of Ukiah, Calif., Senior Chief Petty Officer Tommy A. Ratzlaff, 34, of Green Forest, Ark., Chief Petty Officer Robert J. Reeves, 32, of Shreveport, La., Chief Petty Officer Heath M. Robinson, 34, of Detroit, Mich., Petty Officer 2nd Class Nick P. Spehar, 24, of Saint Paul, Minn., Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) Michael J. Strange, 25, of Philadelphia, Pa., Petty Officer 1st Class (Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist) Jon T. Tumilson, 35, of Rockford, Iowa , Petty Officer 1st Class Arron C. Vaughn, 30, of Stuart, Fla., and Petty Officer 1st Class Jason R. Workman, 32, of Blanding, Utah. Members of the Army killed in the Chinook helicopter were Sgt. Alexander J. Bennett, 24, of Tacoma, Wash, Chief Warrant Officer David R. Carter, 47, of Centennial, Colo, Spc. Spencer C. Duncan, 21, of Olathe, Kan., Patrick D. Hamburger, 30, of Lincoln, Neb., Chief Warrant Officer Bryan J. Nichols, 31, of Hays, Kan. Members of the Air Force killed in the were Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown, 33, of Tallahassee, Fla., Staff Sgt. Andy W. Harvell, 26, of Long Beach, Calif., and  Tech. Sgt. Dan I. Zerbe, 28, of York, Pa. Members of the Navy EOD killed in the Chinook helicopter were Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist/Diver) Nick H. Null, 30, of Washington, W.Va. , and Senior Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Kraig M. Vickers, 36, of Kokomo, Hawaii.
Officer Roy Sims
August 5, 2011 - Montgomery, Ohio - Age 51

Officer Roy Sims, 51, was struck and killed on a motorcycle on 8/5/11 while escorting a hearse during a funeral. He was off duty and on private detail at the time. At 11:39 a.m. Officer Sims had just cleared an intersection and was accelerating to get to the front of the line of cars when the hearse make a right turn and hit Ofc. Sims’ Police motorcycle  at Gate of Heaven Cemetery entrance on Montgomery Road. The impact threw Officer Sims  27 feet and his head struck a curb, sustaining significant head trauma.  Sims was alert and talking to rescue workers immediately after the accident.   He was transported by ground to Bethesda North Hospital. And was pronounced dead around 3 p.m. Roy worked for the Covington Police Department beginning Sept. 22, 1988 where he was a K9 Handler through Sept. 1, 2008, retiring as a Sergeant. He then started work as an  Officer for the Northern Kentucky University Police Department . Sims' personnel file was filled with commendations and letters of appreciation for his service in both the military and in law enforcement. He served in the United States Armed Forces and was a Gulf War Veteran. When his K9 partner "Cliff" died after working with him for seven years, Officer Sims laid his canine officer pins on the dog's coffin at the memorial service for Cliff.  Sergeant Sims final act of service to his community was to donate his tissue and organs in the hopes of improving or extending the life of another. He was a Schutzhund Trainer  Officer Sims is survived by his wife, Lori Brockell Sims, twin sons Matthew and Daniel, Ryan, Cory and daughter Emily Sims. . A fund made to Roy Sims Memorial Fund has been set up through the Bank of Kentucky.

Trooper Fred Guthrie Jr.
August 1, 2011 - Holt County, Missouri - Age 46
Trooper Fred Guthrie, 46, drowned on 8/1/11 while on duty in the area of Route 118 and Route 111 in Holt County Missouri. Trooper Guthrie was on river flood patrol duty at the time. He was last seen having lunch with other troopers at 1:00p.m. on 8/1/11. At 3:00 p.m. his work vehicle was found with the engine running with the drivers door open and with boat still attached to a trailer and Trooper Guthrie could not be located. His K9 partner “Reed”, a German Shepherd and five year veteran of the patrol was found dead in the water on 8/2/11 at 6:25 p.m. The K9 was recovered about 100 yards away from where Trooper Guthrie’s vehicle was found. No one saw Trooper Guthrie enter the water so it is not known why he entered the water. Trooper Guthrie had been in law enforcement for seventeen years. On August 27, 2008, Officer Guthrie was presented with The Medal of Valor by Gov. Matt Blunt. Trooper Guthrie was presented the award for saving a woman on June 22, 2007 from drowning in Smithville Lake. The award is presented to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, extraordinary decisiveness and presence of mind, and unusual swiftness of action, regardless of his or her personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life.  This act is deemed to be above and beyond the call of duty. Trooper Fred Guthrie's body was never recovered. He is survived by his wife and three children ages 14 to 20 years old.  Donations can be made in care of the Guthrie Family Fund, Bank of Weston, P.O. Box 8, Weston, Missouri, 64098.

A judge legally declared him dead in September of 2011. At a funeral service on Dec. 14, 2011, a casket was buried that held memorabilia of the trooper, as well as the cremated remains of K9 Reed. Officers  carried baskets filled with yellow tennis balls into the church. Guthrie had used tennis balls to train Reed. After the service, many of the law enforcement officers joined a procession that traveled nearly 80 miles to the Knob Noster Cemetery in Knob Noster. The procession, led by police motorcycles with emergency lights flashing, included Guthrie’s truck and boat.  

The body of Trooper Fred Guthrie Jr. was found January 12, 2012 , approximately 2:00 p.m. in a brush pile near the spot where the remains of his canine partner, Reed, were found. Guthrie's body was found about 200 to 300 yards from where he disappeared over five months earlier. Trooper Guthrie was unearthed from “several feet” of sand by a crew from Hill Brothers Construction, a company that had been contracted by the Missouri Department of Transportation to rebuild the highway and fill a four-acre gap in Missouri Highway 111 with silt from nearly 44,000 acres of flooded farmland.

Sgt.  Christopher M. Wrinkle
July 31, 2011 - Helmand Province, Afghanistan - Age 29
Sgt. Christopher M. Wrinkle, 29, of Dallastown, Pa., died July 31 while supporting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Wrinkle was assigned to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Special Operations Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, Camp Lejeune, N.C. He died while trying to save his military working dog Tosca, who died in the fire that swept through his barracks and also killed two other Marines, Staff Sgt. Patrick R. Dolphin, 29, of Holly Ridge, North Carolina and  Sgt. Dennis E. Kancler, 26, of Brecksville, Ohio. K9 Tosca's ashes were in the church next to Sgt. Wrinkle and were buried together. Sgt. Wrinkle spent almost ten years serving with the U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations Command based at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina.  Wrinkle had been awarded two purple hearts, Combat Action Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal and Sea Service.  Contributions can be made  to the Sgt. Christopher M. Wrinkle and Tosca Memorial Fund care of Metro Bank. The funds will benefit the Courtyard of Honor at Dallastown High School and the U.S. War Dog Association.
Deputy Bryan Phillip Gross
July 28, 2011 - Douglas, Wyoming - Age 29

Deputy Bryan P. Gross, 29, died while on duty on 7/28/11, three days before his 30th birthday, after responding to an emergency call about a person being swept away in the North Platte River. He drowned while participating in an effort to rescue a juvenile female who had been reported struggling in the river about 5 p.m. The 14 year old girl was in town for a 4-H fair. She was distraught with her boyfriend, and she jumped in the river. The girl entered the waterway near the Douglas Yellowstone Bridge, which joins both sides of Douglas, 50 miles east of Casper. Gross had entered into the river from one side while several others swam in from the other. After the girl was rescued about a mile downstream by Douglas Police Officer Jeremiah Owens along with two citizens, Keith Thompson, 19, and Lane Morgan, 16, from the river. Then upon a personnel check with those involved in the rescue, some concern was raised after Deputy Gross failed to report in and a search was started to locate him forty five minutes later. His vehicle was located on Pearson Street near the river, and his vest, boots, shirt and duty belt were located a short distance away near the river. The girl after being rescued  was taken to Memorial Hospital and remained   hospitalized. The North Platte River was higher than normal following heavy snows last winter and the river was running at 6,620 cubic feet per second at a nearby gauging station. The flow averages only 2,110 cfs on the same date over the past 60 years. People with expertise participating in the search and utilizing everything at their disposal were divers, people on jet skis, other water craft, along with planes, National Guard helicopter,  a Black Hawk helicopter from Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, teams of cadaver dogs,  and about fifty law enforcement that walked along the river. Deputies remained stationed on two bridges during night time and used searchlights powered by generators to maintain a watch on the river. Deputy Gross's K9 partner "Gus" was also used in the search to try and find his handler. Deputy Gross's body was recovered from the waters of the North Platte River in Douglas approximately 66 hours later by divers on 7/31/11 at 11:20 a.m. between the I-25 Bridge site and Anderson Dairy Bridge, 1.5 miles downstream from where he  was last seen entering the river. Deputy Bryan Gross is being hailed as a hero for attempting to save the girl from the high-flowing North Platte River in the town of Douglas. Deputy Gross had worked at the police department as a drug officer, handling a narcotic canine. Gross had been with the Converse County Sheriff's Office for approximately three months. Prior to joining the sheriff's office, he had been a member of the Douglas Police Department.  His K9 partner was "Gus". Deputy Gross is survived by his wife, Amy Spruiell Gross who he married 27 days earlier. Donations to the family of the fallen deputy can be made at the Converse County Bank, 322 Walnut Street, Douglas, 82633

Officer Brent Daniel Long
July 11, 2011 - Terre Haute, Indiana - Age 34
Officer Brent Long and his K9 partner Shadow were both shot on 7/11/11 in Terre Haute, Indiana while serving a warrant issued by a Sullivan County judge to Shaun M. Seeley, 33, at a home on 1812 north 8th Street after Seeley missed a court appointment. Originally officers arrived at the home at 2:00 p.m.  to arrest Seeley but no one answered the door. In looking for Seeley, U.S. Marshal Greg Snider and ISP Sgt. Chris Effner found three stolen all-terrain vehicles behind the residence. A check of those ATVs revealed that one had been hot-wired, another had a false vehicle identification number and another one had been reported stolen and the vehicles were confiscated from the scene. Approximately 3:15 p.m.,  police received a telephone call that Seeley was at the residence, so they returned to serve the warrant. At 3:27 p.m. officers arrived back at the home and knocked for a while and heard footsteps and scuffling noises inside the residence. The house was equipped with video surveillance cameras that would have allowed the home's occupants to watch approaching officers. Heather Elkins and Utterback came to the door. Both denied that Seeley was inside. Police entered the apartment and found three other people inside. All five people were taken out of the residence and asked if Seeley was inside. All five people were shown a color photo of Seeley and all denied knowing him, or that he was inside the apartment. Long and his dog, Shadow, were the first to enter the gunman's home ahead of five other officers as a team of state and local police and a deputy federal marshal were going to serve Seeley an arrest warrant for violating probation and receiving stolen property.  When Officer Long and his K-9 partner Shadow went into the apartment to look for Seeley, Officer Long's K9 partner "Shadow"  indicated that someone was possibly inside a closet. Trooper Jason Schoffstall was with Long, and said the dog indicated on the bedroom closet door a second time. Long went inside the closet and attempted to remove a board or false wall at the rear of the closet and according to Schoffstall that is when Seeley open fire with a 9mm, blue steel, semi-automatic handgun striking Officer Long and his canine partner "Shadow". Long was backing out of the closet during an exchange of gunfire, and Schoffstall exited the bedroom to seek cover. Officer Scott Marshall entered the bedroom, and immediately faced Seeley, who was pointing a gun at him from five to six feet away. Marshall saw Long on the floor with his head toward the bedroom door and his feet toward the closet. Marshall reported that gunfire was exchanged and all police inside the apartment exited to a position of cover. They were repelled from the building by more gunfire and when they made final entry into the apartment to remove Long, police found Seeley in the living room of the residence, dead with multiple gunshot wounds to his lower torso and one gunshot wound to the head and was pronounced dead at the scene. Officer Long was taken to Union Hospital in Terre Haute and was airlifted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and died. Officer Long was wearing his vest at the time but died from two gun shot wounds to the head. Officer Long's K9 partner "Shadow" was shot in the face and rushed to North Heritage Trails Veterinarian Clinic in Terre Haute but due to the damage to his jaw, he was later transported to a clinic at Purdue University and survived and was later released from the veterinary hospital on 7/15/11. Officer Long donated his organs so other people will have a chance to live. Long has been an officer with the department for six years.  He's worked as a K9 officer for the past three years, as well as with the swat team. Officer Brent Long's wife, Danielle, is a dispatcher for Vigo County and was sending crews for Terre Haute police the afternoon her husband was shot. Officer Long received several commendations in his career, including two Grand Cordon Medals, an Honorable Service Medal, a Unit Citation Medal, a Good Conduct Medal and the Medal of Honor. Just two days prior to his passing, Officer Brent Long won the department's Officer of the Month award for June for being one of two officers who stopped a car on the interstate and took a man into custody that was wanted for murder,  made a huge drug bust in which 6 and a half pounds of cocaine was found and also among a group of officers who convinced a man to put down a knife that was being held against the woman's neck.  Before Officer Long was killed he had a tattoo of his K9 partner "Shadow" that he had placed on his back and was often heard saying Shadow would always have his back. K9 Shadow attended his partner's service and funeral. K9 Shadow will be retired and will live with the Long family. Officer Long's funeral was attended by approximately twenty-five hundred people and over one hundred police K9's, each of them walking passed the flag draped casket. Carnations, with a dot of red, signifying the officer's bloodshed were placed on Officer Long's casket, as they said their last goodbyes. Officer Long was buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery on 7/18/11. "Brent D. Long Memorial Way" is the first street in Terre Haute to be named after a fallen officer. At a special ceremony in honor of Officer Brent Long, Officer Long's wife, Danielle, was escorted into his patrol car unit 208 and spoke over his radio, saying "Baker 208 10-42" signifying Officer Brent Long has ended his final shift with the Terre Haute Police Department.  He is survived by his wife Danielle Bailey Long, 11-year-old daughter Ashley, and 10-month-old son Levi. Donations can be sent to the Brent Long Family Fund at any First Financial Bank location. Those wishing to support "Shadow" may send donations to the Terre Haute Police Department K-9 program.
Officer Long's K9 "Shadow" passed away on 11/25/16.
Shaun M. Seeley who was shot and killed at the scene was released from the Indiana Department of Correction in February 2010 after serving five years of a 12-year sentence for dealing methamphetamine. That conviction came in September 2005 in Vigo County. Prior to that, he was sentenced to one year in prison on a theft conviction out of Greene County. His first conviction came from a notorious Vigo County murder case In 1998, Seeley was convicted of assisting a criminal. In this case, Seeley helped Billy Burns dismember the murdered body of Robert Philips. Burns shot Phillips during a drug deal gone bad. Burns used Seeley's gun, and Seeley offered up a relative's property to dispose of Philips's body. While Burns got a 55 year prison sentence, Seeley received only 4 years and did only two years in prison. Seeley had been arrested in Clay County in June 2010 for resisting law enforcement. He was found at a location where federal agents were serving warrants in a federal drug investigation. He also had an active court case in Sullivan County for receiving stolen auto parts and being a  habitual offender. That Sullivan County case was filed in September 2010 after Seeley was found to be in possession of a stolen pickup truck. The habitual offender information stated Seeley had prior convictions for assisting a criminal, dealing methamphetamine and theft. If convicted of being a habitual offender, he could have received several additional years in prison.
Three days after the shooting on 7/15/11, Indiana arrested seven people in connection to the crime scene that led to the deaths of Terre Haute Police Officer Brent Long and shooting suspect Shaun Seeley. Those arrests and pending charges are Heather M. Elkins, 22 (Wife of Shaun Seeley) – Maintaining a common nuisance, receiving stolen property, all class-D felonies resisting arrest,  possession of paraphernalia, and false informing, all class-A misdemeanors. Police  found that Elkins had received text messages from Seeley, indicating that she was in contact with the fugitive and that she knew he was inside the house. Heather Elkins has a criminal history that includes pending cases for possession of methamphetamine, paraphernalia, disorderly conduct, driving while intoxicated, driving without a license, theft, resisting arrest and visiting a common nuisance. She had been released from jail on pre- trial  release.  (Elkins has several charges pending for another case in Vigo County.) Bond: $65,000. - Jesse E. Padgett II, 20 (Cousin of Heather Elkins) – Assisting a criminal, receiving stolen property, resisting law enforcement, all class-D felonies, resisting law enforcement and false informing, class-A misdemeanors, and visiting a common nuisance, a class-B misdemeanor. Bond: $40,000. - Brandy Smith (Jesse Padgett's girlfriend): visiting a common nuisance  - Charles J. Elkins, 23, (Brother of Heather Elkins) – Assisting a criminal, receiving stolen property, resisting law enforcement, all class-D felonies, visiting a common nuisance and resisting law enforcement, both class-A misdemeanors. Charles Elkins has a criminal history that includes a conviction for auto theft, as well as arrests for resisting law enforcement and possession of methamphetamine in Division 5 court.  Bond: $40,000. - Roberta J. Utterback, 51, (Shaun Seeley's cousin) Assisting a criminal, possession of a controlled substance, resisting law enforcement, all class-D felonies, resisting law enforcement, class-A misdemeanor, and visiting a common nuisance, a class-B misdemeanor. Utterback has criminal cases pending in Division 5 Court for possession of a controlled substance, criminal mischief and driving under the influence of a controlled substance. (Utterback has several charges pending for another case in Vigo County.) Bond: $70,000. - Virginia D. Torres, 23, (Charles Elkins' girlfriend)  Assisting a criminal, resisting law enforcement, both class-D felonies, false informing and resisting law enforcement, both class-A misdemeanors, and visiting a common nuisance, a class-B misdemeanor. Bond: $40,000. - Luke Green (Friend of suspects): possession of methamphetamine.  Reports say police found Charles Elkins, Jesse Padgett, and Virginia Torres inside the home. They also denied knowing that Seeley was at the home and armed. Following the gun fire, police again asked Heather Elkins, Charles Elkins, Padgett, Utterback, and Torres if they knew of Seeley’s presence in the home. They denied knowing he was there and armed. On 7/15/11, Heather Elkins and Jesse Padgett made official statements to the Indiana State Police and Elkins admitted to having lied to police about knowing of Seeley’s whereabouts when she was asked at the scene. Padgett also admitted to having known Seeley was hidden in the bedroom closet when police entered the home. Padgett said he was aware that Seeley had taken a firearm from the side of the bed. Padgett told investigators he saw Seeley with a gun inside the apartment, and that Padgett said he was scared that Seeley would do something dangerous.  Based on Padgett’s reports, Elkins then told the rest of the people in the house to remain quiet and “not say a thing.” Padgett also admitted that he was aware of a recent semi-automatic firearm that was purchased by Seeley from someone in the neighborhood. Virgina Torres also made a statement to the Indiana State Police. Her statement coincided with Padgett’s statement. She also reported pandemonium ensued after Elkins emerged telling the others to remain quiet with police outside. Torres told investigators that Seeley searched for an item, allegedly the handgun, before going into the bedroom with Padgett and Charles Elkins prior to police entering the residence.  Investigation into the residence after the crimes revealed a white powder substance that Elkins and Padgett reported to be methamphetamine, as well as paraphernalia including pipes and scales. Scott Griffy,40, sold gunman Shaun Seeley a 9 mm handgun even though he knew Seeley was a convicted felon. Prosecutors said it was illegal for Griffy even to possess a handgun because of his own criminal record. Prosecutors said Griffy could face up to 10 years in prison and be fined $250,000 on each of three federal firearms counts — unlawful sale of a firearm to a prohibited person, unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and unlawful possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. A federal judge accepted guilty pleas from two of the seven people charged in the death of Terre Haute Officer Brent Long on 12/13/11. Griffy pleaded guilty to illegally posessing and illegally selling that gun. Padgett pleaded guilty to making a false material statement to police the day they tried to serve the warrant. Griffy told police he brokered a gun deal between Brad Keller, 48, and Seeley for 3.5 grams of methamphetamine.
Deputy Sheriff Kyle David Pagerly
June 29, 2011 - Albany Township, Pennsylvania - Age 28
Deputy Kyle Pagerly, 28, was shot and killed on 6/29/11 while trying to serve a warrant in Albany Township in Pennsylvania. The incident started at approximately 6:30 p.m. when state police, U.S. marshals and Berks County sheriff's deputies serving as marshals went to the Pine Swamp Road address to arrest Matthew Connor on charges of burglary, criminal trespass, violations related to the sale of firearms, terroristic threats, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person. The charges were related to an incident two days earlier at two homes in the first block on Pine Swamp Road for threatening his father, his sister, girlfriend and a family friend visiting the home by firing several rounds from two different handguns into the ground in front of them and telling them "yeah you better run,".  Two days before the shootout, Connor had said he wouldn't go down quietly. At one point, Connor put a revolver to his mouth acting as if he was going to shoot himself in front of his family. Upset that he ran out of ammunition from a revolver and a handgun, Connor went back into the family's house and retrieved a bulletproof vest and a shotgun, which he fired several times before heading into the woods. He has threatened in the past to want to provoke the police so they would shoot him, suicide by cop.  Connor's father, Maurice, is a retired Cherry Hill, N.J., police officer. Matthew Connor ran out of the back of the house and into the woods while his girlfriend was talking to police.  With authorities following him into the woods. As Canine Deputy, Kyle Pagerly, a Berks County sheriff's K-9 member moved up over a rise in the terrain, Connor rose up in complete camouflage including his face had a camouflage mask, his hands in camouflage gloves, and he was armed with two guns, two knives, and large capacity magazines with an AK-47. Authorities told him to drop the weapon and when he didn't, gunfire was exchanged  killing Connor and mortally wounding Pagerly. After Pagerly was shot, Jynx grabbed his partner's pants leg and tried to pull him to safety. Deputy Kyle Pagerly, who was wearing a vest was shot several times with at least one bullet the penetrated the vest, was pronounced dead at 8:44 p.m. at Lehigh Valley Hospital after being airlifted to the Salisbury Township facility. Matthew Connor, 25, of the first block of Pine Swamp Road, was killed at the scene.   After the shooting Matthew Connor's father gave police a suicide note left by his son. Pagerly served in the Army in Kosovo (2002) and Iraq (2003 and 2004). He was a military police officer. He joined the sheriff's department in 2006, according to the website. The K-9 Corps was formed in 2008. He also was a lieutenant in the Spring Township Fire Department. His K9 German Shepherd partner “Jynx” was not injured. Pagerly's badge number, 27, was permanently retired and K9 Jynx was retired from the force officially on 7/28/11 and given to the family. Jynx  retired from the force with full benefits. His medical care, grooming, boarding and food have all been donated for the rest of his life. In the days after Pagerly's death, Jynx would upend the clothes hamper, root out his T-shirts and sleep with them. Thousands attended Pagerly's funeral. Hundreds of K9 officers and their dogs also gathered for the service. Pagerly's  K9 Jynx, sat with the fallen deputy's family in the front row at the Sovereign Center for the service.  K9 Jynx was presented with the Berks County Sheriff Department's Medal of Honor for his lifesaving efforts on the night of the shooting. The Berks County Sheriff's Department honor guard conducted a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps. Approximately three thousand people attended Pagerly's service. Kyle Pagerly is survived by his wife, Alecia Anne (Bird), whom he married December 12, 2007.  who is three months pregnant. Contributions may be made to the Kyle Pagerly Memorial Fund or the Berks County Sheriff's Department Honor Guard Fund., Attn: Sheriff's Dept, 633 Court St., Reading, PA 19601.

Maurice Connor, 72, and Jared Engleman, 28, who were accused of facilitating the death of a Berks County sheriff's deputy Kyle Pagerly, ended in October of 2013 with mistrials for both in Berks County. Pretrial publicity forced the cases to be moved to another venue. Jurors will be selected for the trials again for both  on March 4, 2014 and Senior Judge John Uhler will preside over both cases in the Northampton County Courthouse. The trials will run back to back. Berks County officials charged the two men for allegedly helping Matthew Connor acquire the assault rifle he used to fatally wound Berks County Sheriff's Deputy Kyle Pagerly. Authorities believe Maurice Connor gave his 25-year-old son, Matthew Connor a handgun and $200 to buy a rifle. Engleman of Shoemakersville, Pa., allegedly sold Matthew Connor the AK-47 he used to kill Pagerly.

During Maurice Connor's trial on March 4, 2014, after the trooper's testimony, the trial went on a two-hour break. After it reconvened Maurice Connor was willing to accept a no-contest plea bargain. Maurice Connor's plea agreement was to a charge of providing a firearm to a felon. By not contesting the allegation, he acknowledged that prosecutors could prove it beyond a reasonable doubt and treated the same as a guilty plea when the defendant is sentenced. In return for the deal, prosecutors agreed to drop additional charges, including illegal possession of a firearm and conspiracy to illegally possess a firearm, among others. York County Senior Judge John Uhler delayed sentencing until a pre-sentence report can be completed on Maurice Connor's background.

Sgt. Brett Patrick Benton
June 4, 2011 - Laghman Province, Afghanistan - Age 37
Sgt Brett Benton was killed on 6/4/11 near Alingar District, Laghman Province, Afghanistan. He was working with DynCorp Technical Services, a defense contractor, and  had only been in Afghanistan for three weeks when a improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle killing him. He went to Afghanistan to train Afghan police officers.  Brett Benton had served with Kenton County Police Department for 10 years and had started their K9 program. Sgt. Brett Benton after graduating from high school, went to the National Guard, and then while he was still in the Guard he worked at the state police post in Richmond as a dispatcher and then he worked for the Nicholasville Police Department, and then he went on to the Kenton County Police Department. His K9 partner was "Tommy". He is survived by his wife of nine years, Bethany Foster Benton.  Donations are suggested to the Kentucky Fallen Officers Trust at www.klemf.org or Kentucky Special Olympics Torch Run at www.kytorchrun.org.
Officer Jefferson "Jeff" Patrick Gerald Taylor
June 3, 2011 - Kansas City, Missouri - Age 31
Officer Jefferson “Jeff” Taylor, 31, was struck by lightning on 5/23/11, while helping people from the Joplin tornado disaster. Jeff and another Officer were returning to their base camp on their ATVs when lightning struck the ground between two Officers, rendering them both injured, though the second officer was able to return to work. Shortly after, emergency workers on scene were able to perform successful CPR efforts. Officer Taylor died at St. John’s Hospital on 6/3/11 at  9:25 a.m. He had undergone successful skin graft surgery and was being treated for other complications related to injuries he suffered in that incident when he died. Taylor is the first officer in the history of Riverside Police Department to die in the line of duty. He began his law enforcement career in Webb City, then served on Platte County Sheriff Department, before his current post with Riverside Department of Public Safety. He joined the Riverside Police Department in 2005 and was named Officer of the Year in 2008. While departing this world he was still able to save five more people.  His liver and kidneys are being donated to those waiting and three more lives will be spared due to Jeff's generosity. Approximately 1,000 people attended his funeral. Survivors include his wife, Kelly and sons, Caden , Cameron and his K9 "Flash". An account has been established in honor of Officer Taylor to assist his family with expenses: Taylor Benefit Account, K.C. Police Credit Union, 2800 East 14th Street, Kansas City, MO 64127.
Sgt.  Aaron J. Blasjo
May 29, 2011 - Wardak Province, Afghanistan - Age 25
Army Sgt. Aaron J. Blasjo, 25, of Riverside, Calif., and his Military Working Dog, Hunter, assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, N.C.; both died May 29 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device while on patrol in a Humvee. There were also two other Green Berets  in the vehicle that were killed along with Sgt. Blasjo, Captain Joseph Schultz,36, of Port Angeles, Washington and Sgt. Martin R. Apolinar, 28, of Glendale, Arizona . Sgt. Blasjo entered the Army in July 2004 and was selected for the elite Green Berets after extensive testing and training in 2006 . After completing basic training and Airborne School at Fort Benning, Ga., Blasjo was assigned to 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne) where he completed the Special Forces Qualification Course in December 2006 as a Special Forces communications sergeant. Upon completion of SFQC, he was assigned to Group Support Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), headquartered at Fort Bragg, N.C. Blasjo had deployed three times to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His military education includes: Basic Infantry Course, Warrior Leader's Course, Advance Leader's Course, Basic Airborne Course, Advanced Pistol Marksmanship, SOC AM General Driving Course, Special Forces Qualification's Course, Special Forces Communication Sergeant's Course, and Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape Course. Blasjo's military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart; Army Commendation Medal; Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal; Special Forces Tab; Combat Infantryman Badge; Parachutists Badge. He was laid to rest in North Carolina at Riverside National Cemetery. He is survived by wife Crystal, and son Talon, eight weeks old. On May 1, 2011, Aaron Blasjo left for a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan when his son Talon was only 5 weeks old.
LCpl.  Peter J. Clore
May 28, 2011 - Helmand Province, Afghanistan - Age 23

Lance Corporal Peter J. Clore, 23, of New Philadelphia, Ohio, was killed by enemy small arms fire on May 28 while serving in Afghanistan. He was a certified Explosives Detector Dog Handler, a position that put him ahead of his unit as they made their patrol. Clore and his Military Working Dog, Duke, were leading a unit in seeking out improvised explosive devices when he was shot by small-arms fire. His Military Working Dog, Duke, survived. He enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps in 2008. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. His first deployment came in 2009 as part of the 22nd Military Expedition Unit, Detachment A. In January, 2010, Peter was deployed to Haiti to assist in providing earthquake relief. Later in the year, he became a certified dog handler for the Marine Corps, preparing for the deployment to Afghanistan in March of 2011. Memorial contributions be made to the Peter Clore Memorial Fund in care of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 139 Third Street NE, New Philadelphia, OH 44663.

Trooper Shaft Sidney Hunter
May 21, 2011 - Maryland - Age 39

Maryland State Trooper, Shaft S. Hunter, 39, died in the line of duty when his police car slammed into a tractor-trailer on Interstate 95 at 2:40 a.m. while pursuing a speeding motorcyclist. The patrol car hit the rear of the tractor trailer and then traveled down the side of the trailer, coming to rest near the front of the trailer. The accident happened on I-95 South near the entrance of a rest stop south of route 32 in Howard County. Hunter was pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver, Albert Sandino, 46, of California was not injured in the crash. He had been parked for about 15 minutes as he checked for directions. Sandino was pulling a trailer of household bleach from Aberdeen, Md., to Virginia. The motorcyclist, who was described as wearing a white helmet, has not been located. Hunter was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. Hunter joined the state police 11 years ago, after a stint with the Marines. The state police recruited him out of the Marine Corps. He was elected president of the 114th Trooper Candidate Class and spoke at his academy class graduation in June 2000. He went on to become Trooper of the Year, and worked with a task force that played a key role in catching the D.C. snipers. Hunter did moonlighting as a security guard at restaurants, stores and movie theaters to provide for his six children. Hunter was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut and graduated from St. Joseph's in 1990. Hunter, then a starting defensive back and running back, on Cadets teams that won back-to-back state titles in 1989 and `90, when he was a junior and senior. He held a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from St. Augustine College in Raleigh, North Carolina. After college, he joined the United States Marine Corps, where he served from 1994 to 2000. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps with the rank of captain.. When his police dog, Bear, was recently retired from the force and Hunter took it home to live with his family. Hunter’s casket was carried to its final resting place by U.S. Marines. A traditional police burial was held for Trooper Hunter which included bagpipe players, a gun salute and an honor guard presentation at the Fallen Heroes Memorial section of the Timonium cemetery.   His German Sheppard, Bear, was brought to the funeral as well. Bear, 8, retired from police duty in 2009.   His children were ages 4 to 19.  All donations will be used to provide for the education of Hunter's six children. To donate to The Hunter  Children's Scholarship Fund donations can be sent to any M&T Bank branch in Maryland or can be mailed to M&T Bank, 207 Bowie Road, MD 20707.

Capt. John Albert Struk
April 19, 2011 - Warren, Maine - Age 67

Captain John Albert “Cal” Struk, Maine State Prison-retired, 67, died April 19, 2011, at his home following an extended illness, his loving family. For more than 23 years, he served as a corrections officer at Maine State Prison, retiring as a captain in 2003. He was a founding member and team leader for the MSP K9 Unit. While serving that unit his most special dog was his partner, Mac, a bloodhound who specialized in mantracking/search and rescue. He served several years with the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He is survived by his wife, Joy Ellen Mansfield Struk and three daughters, Jennifer S. Struk, Teresa M. Fish, and Karen E. Struk. Honors were rendered by the Maine State Prison Honor Guard. Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, New England Division Inc., 1 Bowdoin Mill Island, Suite 300, Topsham, ME 04086; or the Humane Society of Knox County, P.O. Box 1294, Rockland, ME 04841.

Sgt. Ian Jones
March 2, 2011 - West Mercia, England - Age 53

Sergeant Ian Jones, 53, a member of West Mercia Police’s Dog Section, died suddenly from heart problems on March 2, 2011.  Sgt. Jones had been a member of the force for 25 years. He is survived by his wife Carol and five children, Sam, Mark, Hannah, Jodie and Zoe. Sgt.  Sgt Jones’ two police dogs – Dig, a general purpose dog who retired years ago but stayed with the family and Bertie, a drug dog who he helped train from a puppy – were at the funeral.

Lance Corporal Liam Richard Tasker
March 1, 2011 - Helmand Province, Afghanistan  - Age 26

Lance Corporal Liam Tasker, 26, from Kirkcaldy in Scotland, was killed in the Afghanistan War by a snipers bullet in Helmand Province on 3/1/11 and his springer spaniel Theo died a few hours afterwards from a seizure, some say from a broken heart. The inseparable pair worked together searching for hidden bombs and weapons. L/Cpl Tasker, of the 1st Military Working Dog Regiment, was on patrol with Theo when he was engaged in a fire fight and was struck and killed instantly. He joined the army in 2001 and was originally a vehicle mechanic in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers then transferred to follow his passion for dogs in the Royal Army Vetinary Corps in 2007 where he became a star trainer. In 2010, he was posted to 104 Military Working Dog Squadron, St Georges Barracks, North Luffenham, Rutland, part of the 1st Military Working Dog Regiment. He deployed to Afghanistan on September 8, 2010 as an Arms and Explosives Search dog handler and was attached to 1st Battalion Irish Guards on 19 February 2011.  Lance Corporal Tasker and K9 Theo had been in Afghanistan for almost six months, uncovering roadside bombs and weapons in a dusty, dangerous daily routine.  He and his dog had more operational finds than any individual team has had in Afghanistan to date and he saved many lives as a result of this. Twenty two-month-old Theo had discovered a record-breaking 14 secret caches in five months. The ministry said then that Theo had been so successful, finding 14 hidden bombs and weapons caches, that his tour of duty had been extended by a month.  During the funeral route the mourners threw red, yellow and white roses onto the roof of the hearse which contained the coffin draped in a Union Jack. Many, from across the country, took along their dogs and lined the streets to pay their special respects to the army handler. The ashes of his Springer spaniel had been returned to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire on the same flight from Afghanistan. Theo's ashes were not included in the cortege. A dozen dog handlers from police and prison forces around the country were among the crowds who also lined the streets. Theo's ashes are to be presented to L/Cpl Tasker's family at a later date during a private ceremony. Theo was the sixth British military dog killed in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001. Theo was awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal known as the animals' Victoria Cross, at Wellington Barracks, London. The award is the highest accolade any animal can receive in recognition of devotion to duty in saving human life while serving in military conflict. It was established by the veterinary charity's founder, Maria Dickin, in 1943. L/Cpl Tasker’s father mentioned that his son Liam had been due to leave Afghanistan soon and was worried about being separated from K9 Theo but said now he doesn’t have to worry about that anymore, they will always be together. L/Cpl. Tasker is survived by his his mother Jane Duffy, his father Ian Tasker, his brother Ian, and his two sisters Laura and Nicola and his fiancee Leah Walters, age 33.

Cpl. Joseph "Marc" Matthews
February 16, 2011 - Hinesville, Georgia - Age 50

Cpl. Joseph "Marc" Matthews, 50, of Hinesville  passed away on Feb. 16, 2011, at Candler Hospital after a short illness. After graduation, he joined the United States Army where he would serve 21 years as a military police officer. Marc was a kennel master and K-9 handler. After his retirement in 1999, he worked for the U.S. Marshal Services at the federal courthouse in Savannah before joining the Hinesville Police Department in 2001. During his time of employment with the Hinesville Police Department he also worked as an officer, was promoted to the rank of corporal and was a K-9 handler. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Mi Suk Matthews, daughter, Ashley Matthews, son William Matthews and his faithful K-9 partner, Brad. Remembrances may be made to Hinesville Korean Full Gospel Church, 758 Tupelo Trail, Hinesville, GA. 31313 or First United Methodist Church of Hinesville, 203 N. Main St., Hinesville, GA 31313.

Col. Greg Guy Malloy
February 2, 2011 - Bonifay, Florida - Age 44

Col. Greg Malloy, 44, of DeFuniak Springs, a Florida corrections officer, was shot and killed on 2/2/11 while assisting in a manhunt. Malloy was working as part of the Holmes Correctional Institution's K-9 tracking team, which was assisting the Holmes County Sheriff's Office in the search for Wade Andrew Williams, an ex convict. Williams, 35, was wanted in the double homicide of his parents, Bruce and Sharon Williams in their Cottondale home in Florida. Both parents were killed on 1/26/11. A warrant had also been issued for Wade Williams for his arrest on a charge of grand theft auto. Wade Williams then fled to the Choctawhatchee River Management Area where he burned his father’s truck.  Williams subsequently camped in the management area evading arrest until confronted by a hunter, Thomas Crews, at approximately 8:00 a.m. when he came upon Wade Williams laying out some laundry at a  camp site.  When Thomas Crews encountered a man meeting Williams’ description and started talking to him. Wade Williams said he was going to kill him and fired eight shots from a .22-caliber rifle in Thomas Crews direction and Thomas Crews took cover behind a tree and returned on shot from his .30-06 rifle but missed. Wade Williams than ran off into the woods. Thomas Crews suffered a minor chest wound from shrapnel. Thomas Crews then called 911 and notified police of the incident and about  20 minutes later approximately 40 officers and a helicopter were searching for Wade Williams in the wooded area with a  nearly impassable swamp near a river. Thomas Crews helped police in a search for Williams because he was familiar with the area. After approximately one hour the tracking team encountered gun fire and Col. Greg Malloy and Wade Williams were both shot during the exchange of gunfire. Wade Williams was killed and Malloy was loaded on to a boat, then transported to a landing where a medical helicopter was waiting. Malloy, was airlifted to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, where he later died. A second K9 officer, Arthur Teal,  was also wounded by a bullet that grazed him and was taken by ambulance for treatment. The hunt for Wade Williams had taken searchers to Alabama and Georgia, and multiple agencies were involved in the manhunt. Malloy started working at the Holmes County Correctional Institution in Bonifay for the Florida Department of Corrections in 1988 when he was 22 years old. He spent 19 years in Oka-loosa County. He also worked for the Washington Correctional Institution, now called the Northwest Florida Reception Center, and the To-moka Correctional Institution in Volusia County. He was promoted to colonel, the highest corrections officer designation, in Holmes County on July 23, 2010. Approximately fifteen hundred people attended the funeral and at the grave site bagpipes were played and a 21 gun salute was given. Col. Malloy leaves behind his wife Donna Sue Malloy and a 12 year old daughter, Payton Sue Malloy. Holmes Correctional Institute has set up a memorial fund for Colonel Malloy’s daughter and memorials may be made in Colonel Malloy’s memory to Holmes Correctional Institute, 3142 Thomas Drive, Bonifay, Florida 32425.

Wade Andrew Williams, who was shot and killed on 2/2/11, previously had a record and had been released from the Tallahassee Work Release Center in August 2009. He was sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted of several burglary and grand theft charges in 2005 and 2006.

PC John Burke
January 27, 2011 - East Lothian, Scotland - Age 41
Police Constable John Burke, 41, from Musselburgh, East Lothian, was found dead on 1/28/11 by a person taking a walk. He had served with Lothian and Borders Police force for 22 years. PC Burke was found in the Cowpits area of Musselburgh - a quiet part of the town which is surrounded by fields. John Burke received a posthumous bravery award in March of 2011 for an incident that happened in 2010 and will also receive a long service and good conduct medal at the ceremony in Edinburgh.  An investigation is on going under the mysterious circumstances of his death. He leaves two children, ages 12 and 16.
Officer Jeffrey Adam Yaslowitz
January 24, 2011 - St. Petersburg, Florida - Age 39
Officer Jeffrey A. Yaslowitz 39, was shot and killed on 1/24/11 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Officer Yaslowitz, who was going in on a shift he normally does not work, filling in for an injured officer who had broken his finger, had just started his shift and volunteered to assist at the scene where a warrant was being served on fugitive Hydra Lacy Jr., 39, at 6:58 a.m. on an aggravated battery charge. When the officers arrived at the house Christine Lacy told the officers that Lacy was in the attic and might have a gun. They had been looking for Lacy for weeks and had been to the house before on 3700 block of 28th Avenue South in St. Petersburg and immediately called for back up at 7:07 a.m. Also there to serve the warrant was Sgt. Tom Baitinger, 48, a fouteen year veteran, who had been working with St. Petersburg police since 1996. After attempting to talk the man out of the attic Officer Yaslowitz and Deputy U.S. Marshal Scott Ley made entry into the attic. At 7:29 a.m., the first gunshots rang out  and were immediately shot. Officer Yaslowitz had left his K9 partner "Ace"  in his SUV. Another officer was able to pull the deputy marshal from the attic but was unable to reach Officer Yaslowitz. The suspect then fired from the attic, striking Sergeant Baitinger who providing cover from the main level. Sgt. Tom Baitinger  was  shot and killed in the house along with Officer Yaslowitz . Also Deputy U.S. Marshal Scott Ley, 45, a twenty one year veteran, was shot twice and survived. One bullet was stopped by Ley's vest but a second bullet struck penetrating his lower abdomen. A standoff lasted for hours and a gun firefight which resulted in over two hundred shots being fired.   After the gunfight, authorities had tried to force the gunman out with tear gas at 8:57 a.m. and by cutting off the home's electricity and water. Earlier, police used a vehicle to punch a hole in the wall to get to one of the officers who later died. The home is situated in a middle-class neighborhood on the south side of St. Petersburg and was destroyed in the shooting incident. A Department of Homeland Security armored tactical vehicle parked nearby, and a  police tank was also trained on the home.   Dr Steven Epstein was at the scene and immediately attended to Officer Yaslowitz and accompanied him to the hospital in the ambulance at 9:25 a.m.  Officer Yaslowitz and Sergeant Baitinger were both transported to Bayfront Medical Center  where they were pronounced dead. Autopsy reports show Officer Yaslowitz was shot twice in the head with a 9MM Taurus belonging to Lacy. Baitinger was shot in his chest just above his vest traveling downwards into his torso and also a wound to his lower right back where the bullet struck his protective vest. Baitinger was shot with a 4O/10MM having been fired from Officer Yaslowitz's .40 caliber Glock. Lacy was found dead in the home hours after the shoot out at about 2:00 p.m. amid the rubble of the home where he made his last stand. Lacy, the suspect was shot in the left chest, right leg, right buttocks, hip, right middle finger and three times to his arm / forearm. It is estimated lacy fired approximately 29 rounds before he died. Officer Jeffrey A. Yaslowitz, 39, began his law enforcement career with the St. Petersburg Police Department on April 19, 1999. Yaslowitz was one of 12 K9 officers on the St. Petersburg Police force. He had previously graduated from St. Petersburg Police Canine Academy with his K9 dog Shadow and worked with his canine partner "Ace" for the last two years who was then given to the Yaslowitz family. At the church service "Amazing Grace" , "My Chains Are Gone" and "There Will Be A Day" were sung. Yaslowitz's and Baitinger's police vehicles were parked hood to hood, wreathes on each. Officer Yaslowitz's K9 Ace attended the service. At the funeral a bugler played taps, bag pipes played Amazing Grace, there was an honor guard and a color guard, twenty-eight horses and riders line up outside the church, including two riderless horses with empty saddles, 21 gun salute, white doves were released, and seven helicopters flew overhead in a V-shape. The U.S. Coast Guard helicopter trailed off, symbolizing the lost officers. Approximately 10,000 people were on hand to pay their respects at his funeral. Officer Yaslowitz is survived by his wife of seventeen years,  Lorraine, son Caleb, 12; daughter Haylie, 8; and son Calen, 5; and K-9 partner "Ace". Anyone wishing to donate funds to the two families can send contributions to: Suncoast Law Enforcement Charities, Inc. 14141 46th Street North, Suite 1205 Clearwater, Florida 33762  Tel.727-532-1722.

Hydra Lacy had a long record that includes convictions for armed robbery and sexual battery. At age 17, Hydra Lacy Jr. was sentenced to four years for grand theft auto, attempted murder, aggravated assault and resisting arrest with violence. He served two years. Seven months after his release, he was arrested for kidnapping, aggravated child abuse, sexual battery with a weapon or force and battery on a law enforcement officer. A 16-year-old High School student told police she and Hydra Lacy dated briefly in 1991, but she broke it off. A few months later, she said, Lacy grabbed her outside her apartment one night, forced her into his car, then hit and raped her repeatedly. That earned him a 15-year prison sentence. He was released in 2001 after serving nine. He was listed as a sex offender with the state and had failed to register in December of 2010 with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Department as required. Deputies had been looking for him since then, and the sheriff's and police departments had issued bulletins on 1/21/11 for authorities to be on the lookout for Lacy. He was convicted of a car jacking in Jefferson County near Tallahassee when he was just 17 years old. He did time in 1990's after being convicted of aggravated assault, grand theft and resisting arrest with violence in Pinellas county just after his 18th birthday.  Lacy was sent back to state prison less than seven months after he got out, and this time he'd spend nine years in prison before being released . In 1992 he was convicted of sexual battery, false imprisonment of a child under 13 and again violence against law enforcement . He was granted a conditional release from state prison March 4, 2001. According to the Florida Department of Corrections, he violated the terms of his conditional release and returned to prison May 29, 2008. But the Parole Commission released him less than a week later. His conditional release supervision ended in November of 2008. In June 2009, he was back in court in Pinellas County and charged with aggravated domestic battery for beating his wife Christine Lacy, and false imprisonment. He admitted attacking his wife with two swords. Her injuries included being stabbed in the face and leg, a broken nose, two black eyes, cuts and bruises on the back of her head.  He broke several liquor bottles over the victim's head and was out of work for about six weeks. Lacy was ordered to have no contact with his wife, but he ignored the order and called his wife from jail at least 15 times. He bonded out of jail but skipped a court date on November 1, 2010. The court sent an electronic warrant for his arrest to the sheriff the next day, court records show. Given his record, a conviction could have sent him back to prison.  Hydra Lacy's brother, Jeff Lacy, is a professional boxing champion.

Sgt. Zainah Caye Creamer
January 12, 2011 - Kandahar Province, Afghanistan - Age 28  

Sgt. Zainah Caye Creamer, 28, of Texarkana, Arkansas was killed on 1/12/11 at approximately 0500 hours while serving in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. Sgt. Creamer is the first  female war-dog handler that has been killed in action in any U.S. war. She suffered wounds when insurgents attacked her unit with an improvised explosive device. Sgt. Creamer and the dog were doing their job, carrying out "a route and building clearance mission" when the blast occurred. Creamer, who was single, was assigned to the 212th Military Police Detachment, Headquarters Battalion at Fort Belvoir. Sgt. Creamer had been in the Army for six years and three months and had been assigned to the 212th since October of 2009. This was her third deployment and her first as a Military Working Dog handler.  Creamer and her canine partner, Jofa, left for Afghanistan on Oct. 26, 2010. They were attached to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment when the incident occurred. K9 Jofa was not injured in the attack and the family of Sgt. Creamer plan to adopt K9 Jofa. Sgt. Creamer received several awards and decorations during her 6-years of service. These include the Iraq Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Afghanistan Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the Expert Rifle Badge, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal.  At the memorial ceremony, the US government  conferred on Creamer the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart Medal, the NATO Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal. Sgt. Zainah Creamer was buried in the Philippines where her mother lives on 2/4/11.  

Lance Cpl. William “Billy” H. Crouse IV
December 21, 2010 - Helmand Province, Afghanistan - Age 22

Lance Cpl. William “Billy” H. Crouse IV, 22, and his K-9 officer, Cane, were killed on 12/21/10 in Afghanistan. Crouse,  and his K9 partner "Cane" were killed by an improvised explosive device while on patrol. At the scene of the blast Crouse was conscious enough to ask for his bomb dog, Cane, to be transported with him on the helicopter but  they  could not save K9 Cane. Crouse died at a hospital from cardiac arrest after being taken there from the field. It was Crouse's first tour of duty; he had been in Afghanistan for only six weeks when the blast occurred, and it was Cane's third tour of duty. The two were in Helmand province and assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He joined the Marine Corps in November 2007 and was promoted to lance corporal August 1, 2008. He was born in Angola, Indiana and later moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and then to Clinton, South Carolina, in the mid 1990's with his family. He earned the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and was posthumously awarded a purple heart for his service. His funeral was held on 12/29/10  with  a burial in Covington Memorial Gardens with full military honors rendered by the U.S. Marine Corps. Memorial Donations may be made to: the Arthritis Foundation, Fairview Missionary Church, Stroh Church of Christ, the Wounded Warrior Project or the Save the Children Organization.   

Chief Tommy Taylor Summerville 
December 9, 2010 - Eutaw, Alabama - Age 56

Eutaw  Police Chief Tommy Summerville, 56, died from complications during heart surgery on 12/9/10 at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham. He had been on the force for the past 33 years. He joined the Eutaw Police Force in 1977. He was certified as an NRA Police Firearms Instructor, and he was chosen as an "Outstanding Young Man of America" in 1986. In March 1998, Tommy was named Assistant Chief of Police. In March 2000, he was certified by the Alabama Canine Law Enforcement Training Center and became the narcotics dog handler. In September 2007, Tommy became the Chief of Police. He was the department's first K-9 officer and for several years he and his K-9 partner "Rain" visited many schools and gave demonstrations to the students. He was a dog handler before he made chief and kept on as a dog handler because that is what he loved doing. He is survived by his wife, Gloria Leavelle Summerville and his son, James Lowery Summerville. The family requests that donations be made to the city of Eutaw earmarked to purchase a new narcotics dog.

Pfc. Colton Wesley Rusk 
December 6, 2010 - Helmand province, Afghanistan - Age 20
 Pfc. Colton W. Rusk, 20, of Orange Grove, Texas, died Dec. 6 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. He was fatally shot while searching with his K9 Eli, a black Labrador retriever,  along with six other Marines in the attack. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on November 2, 2009 and was serving his first combat deployment where he was serving as a K-9 handler. He was chosen to be sent to South Carolina to American K-9 Interdiction to train for Improvised Explosive Device Detector dog handler.   Certified on 6-18-10.  It was here that he and Eli became a team. He along with Eli left for Afghanistan on his 20th birthday 9-23-10.  His awards include, the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Afghanistan Campaign Medal. Pfc. Colton Rusk was buried on 12/18/10 at Orange Grove Cemetery in Texas where approximately one thousand mourners paid their respects. In lieu of flowers  the family has requested donation be made to the Colton Rusk Memorial, C/O Value Bank Texas, P.O. Box 4956, Corpus Christi, Texas 78469. In an unofficial ceremony in February of 2011 at Lackland Air Force Base, Eli was  adopted to the Rusk family in Orange Grove, Texas, to live out his life in peace.

Sgt. Roderick Dalton 
November 16, 2010 - Syracuse, New York - Age 45

Sgt. Roderick Dalton, 45, died unexpectedly at Community General Hospital  on 11/16/10 after a short illness. was one of the commanding officers of the department's K-9 Unit. Sgt Dalton served the Syracuse Police Department for the last 22 years.  He leaves behind his K9 partner Niko. Memorial contributions in memory of Rod may be made to Syracuse Police department P.B.A., 511 S. State Street, Syracuse, NY 13202.

Sgt. John Jeffrey Gates 
October 10, 2010 - Cicero, New York - Age 64

Sgt. John Jeffrey Gates, 64, of Cicero, NY, died at home on 10/10/10. He was recognized as one of the state's founding fathers of modern police dog training. He was renowned for helping the state develop its canine training and certification and also for helping to create the canine units for the Syracuse police and other agencies. In the early 1980s, Gates became handler for Central New York's first police dog, Shamus, Gates trained more than 200 dogs in his career and traveled to Europe to study the dogs in their natural environment. He also helped train police dogs in the Czech Republic and Israel, as well as across the United States. Dogs that Gates trained assisted in the seizure of millions of dollars in drug money and the arrest of hundreds of criminals. Sgt. Jeff Gates, is 32-year member of the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office and retired from there in 2006.  John was an Air Force veteran, serving during the Vietnam War. Gates' ashes was spread along the canine training course in Camillus, and the dogs and their handlers  passed by to offer tribute. Sgt. John Gates is survived by his wife, Donna (Sobello) Gates; two sons, Christopher (Toni) Gates and Matthew (Jeanna).

Staff Sgt. Brian Michael Carragher
September 18, 2010 - California City, California - Age 29

Staff Sgt. Brian Michael Carragher, 29, was shot to death with a 9mm semi-automatic on 9/18/10 shortly after 5:30 p.m. in front of his California City home in the 8900 block of Walpole Avenue as he tried to tell a man to leave his home.  Carragher was found bleeding severely in the street and was airlifted to Antelope Valley Hospital and pronounced dead there about an hour later. Carragher was shot at five times and struck four times.  Staff Sgt. Brian Carragher was shot three times in the back and once in the back of his upper right arm. The suspect, 26-year-old Timothy Aaron Atkins had pulled a gun from his pickup truck, shot Carragher and then fled the scene. Officers later found his vehicle in the 20300 block of 87th Street and arrested him without incident. Atkins ex-girlfriend, Brooke Youngo, was renting space in Carragher's home along with her new boyfriend, Matthew Pearman. Pearman was a security officer at Edwards Air Force Base. Atkins drove over to the home to speak with Youngo and he brought a gun with him in case he wanted to shoot Pearman. Carragher was at a local motorcycle shop with his girlfriend, MIchelle Jones, at the time Atkins came to his home. Pearman answered the door and told Atkins he could talk with Youngo, but he had to go across the street to do so. Atkins and Youngo went near Atkins' pickup and talked. Pearman went to the motorcycle shop to tell Carragher what was going on. Carragher returned home and began talking to Atkins, telling him to leave. That's when Atkins reached in the truck and fired at Carragher. He joined the Air Force in 2003 to become a K-9 officer. Carragher was a military working dog handler assigned to the 95th Security Forces Squadron and stationed at Edwards Air Force Base and had just returned home from his second tour in Iraq on August 1, 2010. Atkins also recently returned to California City after serving two tours in the Army in Iraq. Carragher and his wife, Jackie, bought the home on Walpole Drive around October 2009. Brian Carragher had filed for divorce on 9/16/10. He is survived by his wife of six years, Jackie, and twin four-year-old daughters Maddison and Hayley.  He is also survived by his military working dog, Eddy. "Because of his age, Eddy was soon to be retired and Sgt Carragher was going to adopt him. Donations can be made out for his daughters' college fund. Send Donations made out to Hayley and Maddison Carragher at Summit National Bank, P.O. BOX 395, Baggs, WY 82321.

Timothy Aaron Atkins was arrested on 9/18/10 and held without bail and charged with 1st degree murder.  Atkins made his first court appearance on 9/21/10 for arraignment for the shooting death of Air Force Staff Sergeant Brian Carragher and was delayed until 9/29/10 and ordered held in jail on $1.5 million bail. On his court appearance on 9/29/10 Atkins pleaded not guilty and being represented by attorney Richard Terry . Further hearings were set Nov. 22 & 23, 2010. with  Atkins remaining in custody in lieu of posting $1.5 million bail. In March of 2012, Atkins pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter, and a first-degree murder charge was dismissed. Atkins got credit for 679 days - 591 days for time served and 88 days for good behavior - as part of his six year sentence.

Sgt. Thomas Moore "T.A." Alexander  
September 11, 2010 - Rayville, Louisiana - Age 57

Sergeant Thomas Alexander was shot and killed on 9/11/10 while responding to a burglary in progress in Richland Parish. A woman had called 911 at 9:04 p.m. to report the sound of breaking glass. Sergeant Alexander, who was the closest officer to the location, despite the call coming from outside of the city limit responded at 9:15 p.m. Sergeant Alexander was the first officer to arrive at the scene and checked on the victim and entered the building without backup. Three suspects were hidden inside and ambushed Sergeant Alexander and opened fire as he conducted the search and approached a closet. Sgt. Alexander was shot numerous times and pronounced dead at the scene. Responding deputies heard the shots as they arrived on the scene and took one of the suspects, Robert J. Walker, who was hiding under a bed, into custody inside the home. The two other suspects, Anthony D. Oatis was arrested two hours later in Richland Parish and Richard L. Long was arrested the next day in Monroe were apprehended a short time later. He received many commendations and certificates of appreciation for his outstanding and dedicated service. Sergeant Alexander had served with the Rayville Police Department for 13 years and had previously served with the Richland Parish Sheriff's Office for seven years. He is survived by his wife Mary Louise Alexander, and four daughters, Deborah Jackson (Willie), TaShekia V. Alexander, Amelia Alexander, and LaDeanna Davis along with his K9 partner "Stef". His son, Thomas Cherdale Alexander, preceded him in death. Over one thousand people attended Sergeant Thomas Alexander's funeral. 

Robert J. Walker, 52, of Rayville and Anthony D. Oatis, 30, and Richard L. Long, 33, both of Monroe, were arrested and indicted on first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder charges and conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, and aggravated burglary on 9/13/10 and are currently being held without bond. All three had previous records, Long has been arrested several times in Ouachita Parish on charges ranging from forgery to second-degree battery. Oatis has been arrested in Ouachita Parish on similar criminal charges as Walker and Long. On 10/20/10 Anthony D. Oatis entered his plea of not guilty. On 6/15/11 Robert Walker pled guilty in Fifth District Court to Second Degree Murder on the condition to cooperate in the prosecution of the pending cases against the alleged shooter Richard Long and co-defendant Anthony Oatis. Second Degree Murder carries life imprisonment without parole, probation or suspension of sentence. Bond was set for all three and are being held on $1.25 million bond. Robert Walker, pleaded guilty in June 2011 and received life in prison. On 1/13/14 Richard L. Long Jr., plead guilty in district court. Judge Terry Doughty then sentenced Long to life in prison without the benefit of parole or suspension. Anthony Oatis, who dropped off Richard Long and Robert Walker at a home to commit a burglary that went tragically wrong, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 21 years in prison by Judge Terry Doughty. Oatis never entered the home.

Sgt. Brigham Scott Strole 
September 1, 2010 - Lakeville, Minnesota - Age 46


Sgt. Brigham Strole was killed after being thrown from his motorcycle while off duty at about 9 p.m. on 9/1/10 which happened one block from his home. There were no other vehicles involved and investigators think he might have hit the curb or a pot hole in the road. Strole was ejected from the motorcycle and airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where he died. The accident, which happened on Jordan Court just south of the intersection with Jonquil Avenue. Strole was not wearing a helmet. He was as a K-9 officer for seven years. He and his canine partner Blue were considered one of the top teams in the country, at one point ranked 13th nationally. Strole also served as a member of the SWAT team, as an instructor for firearms and defensive tactics, and as a field training officer. Sgt. Strole was a 20-year officer of the Lakeville Police Department and received numerous commendations and awards during his career. Strole leaves behind two teenage sons, Jacob and Jenna Strole and their mother, Lynn Strole. Memorials may be sent to the Sgt. Brigham Strole Memorial Fund, c/o M&I Bank, 17636 Kenwood Trail, Lakeville, MN 55044.

Maj. Paul A. Egli 
August 31, 2010 - Fort Stewart, Georgia  - Age 54
Paul Egli died 8/31/10 in his Fort Stewart, Georgia  apartment building 9727, after medical services received a 911 call.  Maj. Egli was to retire in just two weeks from the U.S. Army. Paul served proudly on the Franklin TN Police Department for 10 years from 1994-2004 where he was a K-9 officer with his partner Kahn. Winning awards at the National level, they were also recognized by the FBI for assisting in the capture of six escapees from Alabama known at the time as "The Alabama 6" in 2001. The duo was involved in the apprehension of several felons. Paul was selected as an assistant professor of military science in the ROTC Program at the University of Hawaii.  Egli was a major with the U.S. Army, and a military police officer. Egli joined the Army in 1981. He deployed twice, first in support of Desert Shield/Desert Storm and most recently to Operation Iraqi Freedom and was last assigned to Fort Stewart, Ga. Paul was buried with full military honors. Donations may be made to any of the following charities that meant a lot to Egli: Seeing Eye Dog Organization; The American Heart Association; St Jude Children's Hospital. He is survived by his wife, Vicky Egli; children, Jon-Thomas Egli, Emma Egli, Katie Egli, and Erin Dolezal.

Sgt. James Roger Ide V 
August 29, 2010 - Helmand Province, Afghanistan - Age 32
Sgt. James R. Ide V , 32, from DeSoto Missouri, was killed in Afghanistan on August 29, 2010. He was a canine handler of a Belgian Malinois bomb-sniffing dog named Daphne and was working with her at the time of his death when he his unit was attacked by small-arms fire and shot in the head in Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province. Ide was certified to train the dogs and other dog handlers. Ide joined the Army after graduating from DeSoto High in 1997.  He was assigned to the 230th Military Police Company, 95th Military Police Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, Sembach, Germany. He had previously served a tour of duty in Korea and two tours in Iraq. Ide's wife, Mandy, and two children, Trinity, 7, and James VI, 16 months, live in Germany. Memorial donations may be made to the James R. Ide Living Trust, 2839 Meyer Road, Festus, MO 63028. Memorials preferred to: (1.) Eagle Bank, 680 South Mill,Festus, MO 63028 or The James R. Ide V Children's Trust, 2839 Meyer Road, Festus, MO 63028 (2.) Calvary Chapel, C/O Pastor David Ball, PSC 2 Box R7664, APO, AE 09012. (3.) Arise Medical Missions, P.O. Box 3331, Lynchburg, VA 24503, www.arise.ms/home.html. (4.) K-LOVE Christian Radio, P.O. Box 2098, Omaha, NE 68103-2098, www.klove.com, (5.) The Voice of the Martyrs, P.O. Box 443, Bartlesville, OK 74005, www.persecution.com,  (6.) Support Dogs, Inc., 11645 Lilburn Park Rd, St. Louis, MO 63146, http://supportdogs.org,

Cpl. Max W. Donahue 
August 7, 2010 - Helmand Province, Afghanistan - Age 23
Cpl Max W. Donahue 23, died Aug. 7 of wounds received Aug. 4 in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was from Highlands Ranch, Colo.; assigned to I Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group,  Camp Pendleton, California. He was a working dog handler who enlisted in the Marine Corps in July 17, 2006. He previously served two tours in Iraq. His Awards and Decorations include the Purple Heart, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign, two Iraq Campaign Medals, the Global War on Terrorisiom Service Medal, NATO ISAF Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and a Certificate of Commendation. When Donahue joined  he was assigned K9 Fenji. Cpl. Donahue worked with K9 Fenji none stop before our deployment to make sure she was ready and he also was partnered with K9 "Paco".

Lance Cpl. Jeffrey R. Standfest 
June 16, 2010 - Helmand Province, Afghanistan - Age 23

Jeff Standfest, 23, of China Township in St. Clair, Michigan, died while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan on June 16, 2010. He was killed by an IED. Jeff Standfest was deployed in April for his first tour of duty. Standfest, recently returned to duty after suffering a concussion in an explosion in an incident that killed his bomb sniffing K9 in May of 2010. He had returned to duty with a new K9 in which he was killed in this incident. Jeff Standfest was a canine handler and a combat engineer. Standfest was assigned to 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif. Standfest had been awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the NATO Medal. The Corporal had enlisted in the Marine Corps in October 2008. He is the son of Detective Timothy Standfest, of the Clinton Township police who is a 25-year law enforcement veteran specializing in fraud investigations.

 Flyveroverkonstabel Martin Kristiansen  
June 13, 2010 - Afghanistan - Age 33

Flyveroverkonstabel Martin Kristiansen, 33, was killed on 6/13/10 and four other Danish soldiers with him were wounded when their M113G3 APC tank was hit by an IED in the region of Forward Patrol Post Budwan. All the soldiers were immediately evacuated by helicopter to the field hospital at Camp Bastion. Martin Kristiansen was declared dead on arrival. Flyveroverkonstabel Martin Kristiansen of the Royal Danish Air Forcewas posted to Afghanistan as a dog handler by the Engineers Regiment, based in Skive. His dog Loke was with him at the time of the attack and was also killed.

Darren Smith 
June 7, 2010 - Afghanistan - Age 26

Darren Smith, 26, a K-9 handler was killed along with his K9 Herbie, a 3 1/2 year old Collie Cross, by a road side bomb in Afghanistan while on patrol for his country of Australia on June 7, 2010. His friend, Jacob Moerland, 21, found the explosive device and sounded a warning. He then called up his friend Darren Smith along with his K9 partner Herbie.  As they approached the device, it detonated. A Taliban insurgent had detonated the device by remote control.  Both Darren Smith and Jacob Moerland were from the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment. This was their first deployment for both soldiers. They were on a routine foot patrol in the remote Mirabad Valley. It was just before lunchtime when an improvised explosive device, or IED, detonated. Darren Smith was killed at the time of the explosion and Jacob Moerland  received emergency first aid from his patrol mates and was subsequently, aero-medical evacuated to a nearby International Security Assistance Force hospital. It took just 38 minutes for a US medivac chopper to get the Moerland to the Dutch-run and Australian-staffed field hospital at Camp Holland in Tarin Kowt where he died from his wounds. Smith's military career commenced as part of the Army Reserve enlisting November 29, 2001 and completing Recruit training in January 2002, serving as part of 3rd Field Squadron, South Australia.  Smith went on to complete his Combat Engineer suite of courses in 2004 and become part of the Australian Regular Army where he was posted to 1st Combat Engineer Regiment in Oct 2004. He completed a number of driver courses up to heavy vehicle and Armored Personnel Carrier.  He successfully completed his Explosive Detection Dog Handler course in December 2006. He completed his Junior Leader Course in November 2008. Smith was posted to 2 CER in January 2009.  He deployed in March 2010. As part of his tour he has been awarded the Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp International Campaign against Terrorism, NATO Service Medal and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal. He also has received his Return from Active Service Badge.  Smith has also been awarded the Australian Defense Medal. In recognition of the bond between the pair, Herbie was cremated in Afghanistan and his ashes returned to Smith's widow, Angela. Smith leaves behind his wife Angela and a 2-1/2 yr old son - Mason who live in Brisbane, Australia.

Sgt. Gert Johannes Du Toit 
June 6, 2010 - Johannesburg, South Africa - Age 32
Sergeant Gert Du Toit, 32,  an officer of the Joburg  K9 Unit for the past six years, was shot and killed on June 6, 2010, while chasing a group of 15 men who had staged a cash-in-transit heist. The group of robbers - in five cars - struck the Coin truck and its back-up vehicle between 07:00 and 08:00 on the N1 South between the Maraisburg and Nasrec off-ramps. The robbers used two vehicles to force the coin vehicle from the road and then grabbed the bags of cash.  One of the cars, a cream Mercedes bashed into the Coin security vehicle escorting a cash-in-transit van, while a white bakkie and silver BMW pelted the van with bullets before it stopped. The robbers then attacked and shot both coin security guards. The robbers then deserted the two cars and fled the scene in two black Porsche Cayennes to get away. The police spotted them driving on Old Potchefstroom Road in the direction of Soweto and took chase. The suspects opened fire on the police during the chase, hitting Officer Kefwa in the hand. They then raced to Protea South in Soweto, where a gun battle broke out and Du Toit was fatally wounded when he was shot on his left side under his armpit and his body found lying just outside the police vehicle. Du Toit's wife, Alicia, also a police officer  was on duty at the temporary control room set up at the old Brixton flying squad's radio room for the purposes of the World Cup. The shooting took place a short distance from Soccer City. Alicia listened to the events unfolding on the police radio. The robbers fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. Four of the 15 suspects were arrested at the scene. Eight firearms, including an AK-47, three R5, two R4 assault rifles used by SA Police Force members that are used by the defence force were recovered. The police seized three vehicles and eight firearms, which include an AK-47, R4 and R5 assault rifles and a pistol. It was found the BMW was hijacked earlier, the owner made to strip down to his underpants and told to run away into the bushes. Some of the suspects are police  from the Sharpeville and Sebokeng police stations and one arrested was a former employee of the Coin Security. Du Toit is survived by his wife Alicia and their six- year-old stepdaughter Caitlan. 

Officer Bill Evans  
May 20, 2010 - West Memphis, Arkansas - Age 38

Officer Bill Evans, 38,  was shot and killed on May 20, 2010 in West Memphis, Arkansas during a traffic stop while "running drug interdiction" on Interstate 40. The events started when Evans stopped a white 1994 Plymouth Voyager minivan with Ohio plates at 11:36 a.m. traveling eastbound on I-40 at Airport Road and then exited the Interstate onto an off-ramp near College Avenue. Sgt. Brandon Paudert, 39, a back up officer arrived on the scene within moments of the traffic stop. The suspects in the white mini van exited the vehicle with AK 47 assault rifles and shot canine officer Bill Evans and his back up officer Sgt. Brandon Paudert. During the shooting canine officer Bill Evan's partner, K9 "Kilo", was in Evan's vehicle. Paudert, the son of West Memphis' police chief, died at the scene and Evans died at a hospital shortly after. Both officers were wearing their vests. The suspects, Jerry Kane, 45, and his son, Joseph Kane, 16, then drove off in the white mini van. About 90 minutes later, a minivan that had been seen leaving the shooting site was spotted in a parking lot of a nearby Wal-Mart. There, it was approached by Crittenden County Sheriff Dick Busby and Chief Enforcement Officer W.A. Wren, who were traveling in the same vehicle. Both officers were wounded in a gun battle initiated by the suspects. Sheriff Dick Busby was shot in the arm and Chief Enforcement Officer W.A. Wren was shot in the abdomen and air lifted to Regional Medical Center at Memphis, where they were in critical condition. Officer  Michael Neal, a Arkansas Fish and Game wildlife officer in his state truck, had rammed the suspect vehicle, preventing an exit of the suspects who were then shot and killed. Neal's bravery likely put a stop to a hail of gunfire that had already wounded Crittenden County Sheriff Dick Busby and his deputy chief, W.A. Wren.  The Kane's family dog "valor" who was in the white van with them was shot eight times died 3 days later. Services for the both officers were held at Lehr Arena four hours apart from each other. Officer Evans K9 partner "Kilo" attended the service along with thousands who paid their respect. Officer Evans was with West Memphis Police Department for nine years. Evans, a 38-year-old father of two who was engaged to be married. Donations can be made to Bill Evans & Brandon Paudert at Suntrust bank or Wachovia Bank.

Jerry Kane had a long history with police and recently complained about being busted at a "Nazi checkpoint" near Carrizozo, N.M., where court records show he spent three days in jail before posting a $1,500 bond on charges of driving without a license and concealing his identity. Warnings were given to officers on July 21, 2004, about Kane, saying he might be dangerous to law enforcement.  Kane had complained in July 2004 about being sentenced to six days of community service for driving with an expired license plate and no seat belt, saying the judge had tried to "enslave" him.  Kane added that he was a "free man" and asked for $100,000 per day in gold or silver.

Sheriff Deputy Ian Michael Deutch
April 26, 2010 - Pahrump, Nevada - Age 27

Sheriff Deputy Ian Michael Deutch, 27, was shot and killed 4/26/10 in a casino parking lot in Nevada. Ian Deutch was driving with a field training officer when they responded after gunfire was first reported at a home a short distance from Terrible's Lakeside Casino & RV Park in Pahrump, Nevada. Sabrina Hepler had called 911 at 3:41 p.m. from her vehicle who told dispatchers that she was in a car and her boyfriend James Lacy Chaffin, 30, was in a pickup, following her and firing at her. She told dispatchers that she was going to the casino to escape him. Dispatchers told her not to do that because she would be heading away from sheriff's deputies who were going to try to pull Chaffin's truck over. She chose to park her vehicle and flee inside the casino anyway, with Chaffin following her. A short time later, Chaffin went back outside the casino, got into his vehicle and began driving around the parking lot. As Deutch and his field training officer were pulling up to the scene, they saw a parked, empty pickup in the parking lot with a white car pulling up in front of them. Because the girlfriend told dispatchers that Chaffin was driving a pickup and that she was driving a car, they got out of their department-issued pickup to look for the suspect inside the casino. But Chaffin was in the car, and in less than two seconds, he fired at least 11 rounds from an SKS Soviet 7.62x39mm caliber  semi-automatic rifle, which had a 30-round clip, striking Deutch five times piercing his body armor as he was just getting out of the driver's side -- three times in the chest and once each in the knee and pelvic area.  When the shooting happened both men were less than twelve feet apart from one another. Surveillance video of the incident showed there was little that could have been done to protect Deutch.  The shooting that killed Deutch was an unprovoked attack. Deputy Doug McKillips, 45, a seven-year department veteran, was with Deutch responding  in a marked sheriff's department pickup truck and escaped injury. A third deputy, Deputy Tom Klenczar, 39, a six-year veteran of the department arrived in a patrol vehicle and shot Chaffin four times in the back as Chaffin shot at Deutch killing the gunman at the scene. James Lacy Chaffin's girlfriend was not injured.  Deutch was flown by medical helicopter to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, where he underwent surgery but died approximately 9:00 p.m.  The whole disturbance began after Chaffin's ex-girlfriend,  refused to talk with Chaffin about the status of their relationship. She had been temporarily staying with a friend and his wife. About 3:30 p.m. she drove to the friends house on Cajon Lane, a block from the casino, to pick up the rest of her belongings. She was about to move to Arizona to stay with different friends,  A "calm, reasonable" Chaffin was waiting for Sabrina in her friends living room. Chaffin was under the impression that his girlfriend was willing to talk. When she refused, Chaffin took her keys and purse and refused to let her leave until she agreed to discuss their situation. He wanted to split everything down the middle because they had been together 12 years. She didn't want to give him a straight answer about if it was over or not, and started yelling and screaming getting Chaffin upset. She finally called police and fled in a co-worker's vehicle. An enraged Chaffin pursued her with a handgun, shooting out a tire and firing multiple shots through the vehicle's back window. A friend  tried to calm Chaffin but it was too late and Chaffin followed her to the casino. Deutch a staff sergeant and squad leader was a meritorious service medal winner and among 752 soldiers with the 1st Squadron, 221st Calvary who had just returned home 2 days earlier from Afghanistan identifying Taliban targets for artillery strikes outside combat outpost Nagil. Ian Deutch was a  ten-year veteran of the Nevada Army National Guard. Sheriff Deputy Ian Deutch joined the department as a patrol deputy on April 12, 2004 and six months later, he was transferred to the K-9 detail and was a canine officer until he was killed. Sheriff Deputy Ian Deutch  was one of Nye County's 108 sworn deputies to cover more than 18,000 square miles. He was assigned to K-9 Patrol with his faithful partner. About 1,000 people attended the memorial service. Deutch's flag-draped coffin was carried in the back of a pickup from the Nye County Sheriff's Office. "Taps" was played by a pair of buglers, riflemen on the roof of the church fired a 21-gun salute, a five-piece police band played "Amazing Grace" on bagpipes and drums, and a police dispatcher went on the radio to broadcast that "K9-3," Deutch's call sign, was at the "end of watch."  K9 Chico attended the service of his handler and was given to Deputy Ian Deutch's family . Deputy Ian Deutch was cremated after the service.  Sheriff Deputy Deutch  left behind a wife, Vicky; a 5-year-old daughter, Savonya; and an 18-year-old stepson, Jonathan and his K9 partner "Chico". Ian and Vicky wed in March 2009, shortly before his deployment to Afghanistan. A memorial fund has also been set up under Deutch’s name at Nevada State Bank, 1301 S. Highway 160, under the account No. 0258040427.

Officer James Franklin Carter Jr.  
April 20, 2010 - Butts County, Georgia - Age 35
Canine officer Jimmy Carter Jr. was killed in an automobile accident on April 20, 2010 at approximately 9:00 p.m. while en route to work in his own vehicle, a Ford Ranger pickup truck . The crash happened  in Butts County along Keys Ferry Road. Investigators said he traveled off a small rut at the edge of the roadway then came back on the roadway, and then went back to the shoulder. He over-corrected, and the truck rotated around, went off the road sideways and struck a tree broadside with the passenger side door. It was raining and the road was wet at the time of the accident.  Officer Carter was not wearing a seat belt and was killed on impact. Officer Carter served his country in the Army for eight years. He served eleven years with the Henry County Police Department. Officer Carter' leaves behind his two children, Audrey Rose Carter, James F. "Jay" Carter III, ages 6 and 7 and his K9 Blaze.  
Sgt. Sean Steven Cuccaro 
April 1, 2010 - Sebastopol, California - Age 45

Sgt. Sean Cuccaro, 45, died on 4/1/10.  Just two days after learning of cancer in his liver, Cuccaro was hospitalized March 26, and his condition deteriorated quickly. Cuccaro joined the Sebastopol Police Department on Jan. 31, 1984, when he was appointed a control aide, and on April 5 that same year, was appointed as a reserve officer taking on his first shift on April 26. He was promoted to dispatcher in July the following year, and finally entered the Police Academy January 1988. Upon his graduation in April, he was appointed a full-time officer. On Nov. 1, 2003, he was promoted to Corporal, and on Oct. 1, 2006, promoted to sergeant, a position he held until his retirement on Aug. 1, 2008 due to a back injury. He served with the Sebastopol Police Department for 25 years and received his Associates Degree in Law Enforcement at Santa Rosa Junior College. During his tenure with the SPD, Cuccaro also served as the K-9 officer with his partners Ike and Raydar. In 1994, Cuccaro was honored, as Sonoma County's Police Officer of the Year for rescuing a Sebastopol resident from a burning building. Approximately one thousand people attended his funeral along with 10 K9 units. He is survived by daughters Amanda Cuccaro and Ashley Cuccaro as well as his service canine, Raydar. Contributions to the Sonoma County Chapter of the American Cancer Society, 1451 Guerneville Road, Suite 220, Santa Rosa, CA, 95403, or to charity are requested.

Cpl. Clovis Wayne "J.R." Searcy
March 6, 2010 - Monroe, Louisiana - Age 33

Cpl. J.R. Searcy, 33, was finishing his 12 hour day shift  around 6 p.m. on  3/4/10  when he  arrived at the scene to back up another deputy . Searcy, who was off duty at the time, responded to a call .  He just finished his shift, but went out to assist a fellow deputy. He was responding to a call about a reported aggravated assault on Browning Road near Louisiana 34 in southwestern Ouachita Parish.  It was reported that a suspect, Michael Tanner, 26,  had tried to run people over with his vehicle. When the deputies arrived, they confronted the suspect standing outside of his vehicle. Corporal Searcy had his Taser in his hand, and ordered the suspect to put his hands up who was approximately 15 yards away. As the suspect raised his hands, he suddenly pulled  a .40 caliber handgun that he had concealed in the small of his back, and opened fire, striking Corporal Searcy twice.  Cpl. Searcy didn't have a chance to pull his weapon from his holster. The second deputy returned fire, killing the suspect. Corporal Searcy was taken to St. Francis Medical Center. One bullet went through the brain, and the other was lodged at the base of his brain. His spinal cord was severed. The bullet went in through the armhole of Searcy's bulletproof vest, and ricocheted through the top of his spinal cord. A brain scan conducted two days later found no activity and was pronounced dead around 10:40 p.m., two days later on 3/6/10. Searcy's family was making arrangements with the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency to allow the deputy to become an organ donor, and so the life support apparatus had remained on. Corporal Searcy had served  with  the Ouachita Parish  Sheriff's Office for eight years. He also served in the United States Air Force 4 years as a military police officer. He was also a successful business owner of C&K Searcy Enterprises, a lawn care business. Approximately 4,000 attended his funeral. Honor guards from Monroe, West Monroe, Louisiana State Police and the Sheriff's Office will participate in the funeral. Kilpatrick Funeral Home donated its services and the burial plot for Searcy. Mulhearn Funeral Home also offered to provide services. Forty K-9 officers and their dogs from various law enforcement agencies lined the cemetery road leading to the grave. The State Police Color Guard conducted a 21-gun salute for Searcy at the cemetery. Horse-mounted officers and K-9 officers were stationed at the cemetery. The U.S. Secret Service contacted President Barack Obama's office to get a letter from the president to present to Searcy's family. "J.R." has worked with the Secret Service when dignitaries came to town.   He is survived by  his  wife, Kerry, of nine years and  three  children, a son Justin, a daughter Maegan and step son Nicholas Lambert.  Donations to the Family of Corporal Searcy can be made at any Progressive Bank at any of the following locations, Monroe: 1411 North 19th Street or 1398 Lamy Lane, West Monroe: 3421 Cypress Street or 701 Trenton Street.,  Winnsboro: 301 Fair Avenue or Bossier: 2600 Beene Blvd with Account Number 4022289.

Michael Tanner has a lengthy record with the sheriff's office. The departments in Monroe and West Monroe had dealings with him many times. He has been arrested more than ten times.  His arrests include anything from drug possession to simple assault. Sept. 19, 2001 - Careless operation of a vehicle, May 30, 2002 - Speeding, June 19, 2002- Drug possession, June 21, 2002 - Careless operation of a vehicle, Dec. 12, 2002 - Illegal deer hunting, discharge of firearms, Oct. 17, 2003 - Following too closely, Jan. 14, 2004 - Reckless operation of a vehicle, June 23, 2004 - Drug possession, June 16, 2005 -  Speeding, July 12, 2006 - Obstructing the view of the driver, June 15, 2006 - Expired license plate, Nov. 8, 2006 - Failure to register, Nov. 29, 2006 - Driving while intoxicated, Feb. 13, 2008 - Criminal trespassing, Nov. 10, 2008 - Driving without proper equipment on vehicle, Nov. 13, 2008 - Illegal passing, June 14, 2009 - Disturbing the peace, Nov. 23, 2009 - Stop sign and yield sign, and Dec. 21, 2009 - Domestic abuse battery.  In December of 2009 Tanner was arrested for domestic abuse against his girlfriend.  She alleged he grabbed her throat and threatened to hit her. His court date on the domestic abuse battery charge was scheduled for March 30, 2010. In 2006, he was arrested for another domestic abuse charge against another girlfriend. In June of 2009 Ouachita Parish deputies picked Tanner up for aggravated assault with a knife, against his father. The two had an argument ending with Tanner pulling a knife on his father.  After initially entering a plea of innocent and failing to appear at one of the court dates, Tanner pleaded guilty to the charge. He paid a fine and courts costs totaling $296.

Capt. Carrie Neff
March 5, 2010 - Los Angeles, California - Age 54

Captain Carrie Henger Neff, 54, died on March 5, 2010 at 1:30 a.m. after a 4 & 1/2 year battle with ovarian cancer, which was service-related. On May 18, 2010, the Los Angeles County Fire Department honored her and her K-9 partner, Sprocket, on what would would have been both of their birthdays. Carrie Henger Neff was the first woman in the LA County Fire Department's Honor Guard. Her first K-9 partner was Spanner and was certified in accelerant detection and was a duel purpose dog. At the time Spanner  was the only one that they  were aware of in the United States that could actually do both and be accepted as an expert in court for arson. After the death of Spanner, Carrie chose Sprocket as her new canine partner. She also worked with Doc, her search and rescue dog, and partner in California Task Force 2. At the end of his career, Sprocket was also diagnosed with cancer, a tumor in his spleen, which caused severe pain and her husband Bob made the difficult decision to put Sprocket down just a week after Carried died. Carrie was a pioneer, helping to develop the LA County Fire Department's K9 program and served 18 years. Carrie's love for animals was a constant throughout her life. Before going into the fire service, she trained many animals for movies and television shows. When Carrie went into the fire service, she learned what a key element the service dogs play for arson and search and rescue, which was a perfect way for her to use her two passions. She dedicated her career to the development of service dog programs within the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Carrie's last deployment was with her search dog Doc at Hurricane Katrina in 2005. When teams were being deployed to Haiti in January, Carrie was retired, but saw her vision become a reality when the dogs from L.A. County Fire Department, along with other departments, were able to locate human life beneath the rubble. Carrie was a past director of the Canine Accelerant Detection Association and trained with them for many years. She also was a member of the North American Police Work Dog Association. She  also  was honored as WeTIP's Fire Investigator of the Year. Carrie and Bob had celebrated their first wedding anniversary just a few weeks before on Feb. 14, 2010. Carrie chose to be cremated. Carrie is survived by her husband, Bob Neff, also a fellow Captain that retired from the City of Riverside Fire Department. Donations can be made to the Humane Society of Moab Valley.

Ret. Officer Claude "Hal" Rawlinson
February 21, 2010 - Tulsa, Oklahoma, - Age 75

Rawlinson, who retired from the Tulsa Police Department as a sergeant in 1981. He died February 21, 2010, at the age of 75.  In  the 1960s, his first K9 partner, "Doc". patrolled together as part of the Tulsa Police Department's new K-9 unit. Rawlinson, launched the unit with another officer in 1962. He served in the Marines during the Korean War. Rawlinson began his career with the Tulsa Police Department in 1961. He received K-9 training in Kansas City, Mo., the next year Rawlinson worked with Doc for years until the dog was diagnosed with brain cancer. In 1966, while Rawlinson was off duty, he "missed death by the skin of his thumb," He was working at a laundry he owned when he heard a traffic accident outside. He went out and saw a man fleeing into a nearby gas station. Rawlinson and an on-duty deputy sheriff followed him into the station's restroom, where the man shoved a German Luger into Rawlinson's stomach. As the man tried to pull the trigger, the web of skin between Rawlinson's thumb and index finger prevented the gun's hammer from firing. He was named Officer of the Month for his bravery. After 20 years of service, Rawlinson retired from the Police Department at age 46 as a sergeant. His wife, Joyce Eudy , died in 1991.  He is survived by three daughters, Rise Bennett, Dana Hardy, and Aubrey Hill; two sons, Randy Rawlinson  and Doug Rawlinson.

Officer David Strong
January 19, 2010 - Genesee Township, Michigan- Age 42

Officer Strong passed away at his residence on January 19, 2010.  Officer Strong was with the Genesee police for ten years. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran. Surviving are children Hailee, Chance and Christian and their mother, Debra, and his K9 partner Rex.

Officer Charlie Dallas
January 18, 2010 - Lakeland, Florida, - Age 56

Officer Charlie Dallas, 56, a twenty year veteran of the Lakeland Police Department died on 1/18/10 in a two-vehicle collision at 4:20 p.m.  on U.S. 27 and Jackson Street, just south of Lake Wales after his SUV Ford Explorer  overturned and was declared dead at the scene. According to the Florida Highway Patrol the accident happened when Federico Vasquez, 23, of Sebring was driving a 2006 Pontiac G6 south on U.S. 27 and swerved left to avoid hitting a 1989 Ford station wagon, driven by Sharon Kolbinskie, 54, of Lake Wales, who was crossing the road at Jackson Street. Vasquez crossed the median and into Dallas' path. The left side of Vasquez's car struck the left side of Dallas' 2008 Ford Explorer and Dallas lost control of the SUV and it rolled over, throwing him out. Vasquez and his passenger, Katie Boyette, were not injured. Polk County emergency workers called for a helicopter, but by the time it arrived, Dallas had died. Dallas, at the time was working an off-duty detail for Lakeland Regional Medical Center and was not wearing a seat belt. Dallas' passenger, Karyn Spencer, 33, of Lakeland was taken to Lake Wales Regional Medical Center for unknown injuries. Spencer was a Lakeland Regional Medical Center employee accompanying Dallas on a patient transfer. The two were on their way back to Lakeland in the Lakeland Regional Medical Center vehicle. The others involved in the crash were wearing seat belts. Charges in the crash are pending. Officer Charlie Dallas, had been named the department's Officer of the Year in 1996 and 2000.  He was a canine handler for nineteen years and handled 3 dogs in his career and even kept his last dog, Dinx, after he retired. Officer Dallas and his K9 Dynx won top 4-man team honors in the USPCA Region One trials held in Pensacola in 2008 which made it the third year in a row the Lakeland Police Department K-9 Unit claimed the top 4-man team award. Others that comprised the team were Officer Ted Sealey (K-9 Bodo), Officer Jeff Barrett (K-9 Beno), and Officer Rob Manrow (K-9 Bask). The team competed against approximately 50 other teams to win the award. Officer Dallas and K9 Dynx came in 6th in the top 10 individual standings that year. Dallas received the department's Medal of Valor for his actions while catching two murder suspects in 1999. He also received an award after a double murder in 2008 in which  police tracked down the shooting suspect, who was pointing a short-barrel shotgun to his head and threatening to kill himself. Dallas persuaded the suspect to put down the gun and the man was taken into custody. Officer Dallas had planned to retire in a couple of months He is survived by his wife Elaine and their sons Dustin and Justin. The Dallas family is asking that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the K-9 unit of Lakeland Police Department.

Officer Kedar Alexander
January 18, 2010 - Curepe, Trinidad - Age 23

Kedar Alexander, 23, who was employed with K-9 Security Services, was murdered approximately 3.30 p.m. in Curepe.  Security Officer Alexander was on duty at the Jackpot Club Casino when six people ran into the entrance of the casino and one of the men shot him in the head twice killing him instantly before he had a chance to react according to witnesses. The bandits then took Alexander's  Glock 9 mm pistol valued $4,500  , a magazine and 17 live rounds of ammunition valued $150 from his body and entered the casino. Once they were in the casino they  robbed  patrons  and physically assaulted a number of people in there at the time. The accused robbed Paul Gonzales, Camella Ash, Judy John and Oswald John of thousands of dollars worth in cash, jewelry, cellphones, ATM cards  and personal items.  The suspects stole $151,000 cash from the casino’s manager, Billy John, of $151,000, and the casino's a CCTV computer monitor valued $65,000 and  a quantity of video surveillance equipment, including televisions and closed circuit cameras.

Two part-time exotic dancers were among the four people who appeared before Tunapuna Magistrate Ramraj Harripersad and charged with the murder of a security canine officer Kedar Alexander. They were also charged with robbery with aggravation and physically assaulting a number of people who were in the casino. The two women, Kelly-Ann "Foxy" Shortte, 25, and Asha "Shordy" Lee, 16, are from Upper Bushe Street, San Juan, while the men are Anthony "Bussa" Contrera, 26, of Straker Lane, Tunapuna, and Ricardo "Grizzley" Constance, 27, of Mt D'or Road, Champs Fleurs. Magistrate Harripersad remanded the accused into custody and the matter was adjourned to February 8.

Officer Michael McLaughlin
January 10, 2010 - Foster City, California - Age 48

Officer McLaughlin passed away of natural causes unexpectedly at his home while sleeping on January 10, 2010.  Officer McLaughlin was a 21-year veteran of the Foster City Police Department. Mike was a well respected member of the Department and well known throughout the State for his experience and expertise with police service dogs. Officer McLaughlin joined the Foster City Police Department in 1989 after serving five years in the United States Army.  He graduated as the "Top Student" from the San Francisco Police Department Academy in May, 1989.  During his career, Mike received numerous commendations and accolades from the public. In April 2006, Mike was credited with saving the life of a 25 year-old man by administering CPR.  In March 2008, he was one of three officers who rescued an intoxicated driver who had driven her car into the Foster City lagoon.  This life saving action was recognized in 2009 by the Peninsula Council of Lions Clubs, when Officer McLaughlin received their Heroism Award. Officer McLaughlin served as a canine officer for 16 years, starting in 1993 and had five different service dogs during his career.  He competed locally and internationally with his canine partners and regularly took high honors during annual canine trials held in the local area. McLaughlin's passion for dogs sent him to Europe several times, landed him on the cable TV program "MythBusters". Around 1993 he started working closely with Witmer-Tyson Imports in Menlo Park, a kennel and import business that provides police dogs and training to 40 law enforcement agencies in the Bay Area. McLaughlin helped train dogs and officers, but he also spent a lot of his spare time at the company's headquarters. In 2007, he also ended up on camera, when an episode of "MythBusters" was staged at the Witmer-Tyson Kennels. During his appearance, McLaughlin brought out a fierce German shepherd named Eewan, who was used to test whether it is possible to effectively distract a guard dog. Over the 16 years he was involved with the kennel, McLaughlin took part in the training of nearly 250 dogs and their handlers. He also got heavily involved in the Menlo Park Schutzhund Club. McLaughlin did well in trials and ended up on a U.S. team that competed in an international police dog competition in Germany in 1998 and also competed in Austria. McLaughlin was known to demanded a lot out of his trainees in the name of quality and safety. He was a well respected canine handler in the community  and trained and worked with police canine handler teams from around northern California.  Mike was well known locally for his community presentations with his various service dogs.  He taught at the Citizens Police Academy and participated in canine demonstrations at Foster City community events, schools, youth groups and was a regular invitee to public canine presentations in several other local communities. Mike's son, Michael Jr. is picking up where his father left off and is a trainer at the Witmer-Tyson Kennels.  Mike is survived by his wife Kathy, sons Mike Jr. and Chris, and daughter Kim age 14. The Foster City Police Officers' Association has established the McLaughlin Family Trust at Merrill Lynch.  Donations can be made by calling 925-945-4882.

Cpl. James Szuba
January 9, 2010 - Mishawaka, Indiana - Age 42
Mishawaka Police Cpl. James Szuba, 42, and his K-9 partner, Ricky, were killed in a traffic accident on 1/9/10 while on duty at approximately 9:20 p.m.  Cpl. Szuba and the 8 year old K-9 unit dog Ricky were both pronounced dead on the scene. The accident occurred on Byrkit Street just south of McKinley Avenue. Captain Tim Spencer was in an unmarked car and saw an SUV, GMC Yukon,  going 51 in a 30 zone on Fir Road. He turned his lights and sirens on to pull him over. He reported the suspect took off. After a high-speed chase, the suspect hit a fire hydrant but kept going. Spencer then called for backup. Szuba was providing backup for Spencer when the suspect crossed the intersection at the same time as Szuba.  The suspect had swerved around a vehicle parked at the stoplight at McKinley Highway when he hit the oncoming squad car of Corporal Szuba and Ricky. The driver of that vehicle, Shawn Devine, 31, of Mishawaka, was taken to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries. When Officer John Minier with the Humane Society arrived on the scene K9 "Ricky" was taking his last breath. Szuba joined the Mishawaka Police Department on Feb. 26, 2002. Cpl. Szuba was a ILEA firearms instructor and the armor for the Mishawaka Police Department and served eight years with them. K9 "Ricky" was cremated on 1/11/10. and was next to Cpl Szuba during the service and later was decided by the family to keep K9 Ricky's ashes at their home. Thousands attended their service and 150 K9 officers with their K9 partners also attended the service. Pipes & Drums, bagpipe group, along with a color guard and a riderless horse accompanied the hearse into the cemetery as the K-9 officers all saluted. All of the officers in attendance wore upside down white carnations, each with a red dot. The white was to symbolize purity and service and the red dot symbolized the blood Szuba and K9 Ricky shed. At the end of the cemetery service, all officers placed their white carnations, on the cremains of Ricky and the casket of Cpl. Szuba. Szuba is survived by a wife, Debbie, and two children, Joshua James Szuba , who turned 22 two days after his fathers death, and Stephanie Elizabeth Szuba, who is 18. Memorial contributions can be made to two funds, the Cpl. Jim Szuba/Canine Ricky Canine Fund, or the Heroes Section Southlawn Cemetery Fund. The address to send contributions to either fund is the same: Policeman's Federal Credit Union, 1130 S. Main St., South Bend, IN 46601.  

Shawn Devine has been in the police system many times. Devine was first convicted in 1997 when he was 18 years old for violating his learner's permit and disregarding a stop sign. In the course of 13 years, Devine was arrested for six more driving offenses, five of which ended in convictions and four of which were related to alcohol. In a 2002 incident in Mishawaka, Devine smashed into a woman's parked car near the 200 block of East Stanley and drove off. Mishawaka police caught up with the man at a 7-Eleven store where Devine failed multiple roadside sobriety tests and officers also found four unopened cans of "Icehouse" lying on the floorboard of Devine's car. Devine pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated in the case, in exchange for two other counts being dismissed. He was given one year of probation, ordered to pay restitution and ordered to undergo a substance abuse program, which he successfully completed. Devine also had drunken driving convictions in 2005 and 2006 and a driving-while-suspended infraction in 2007. In the 2006 case, Devine was charged with two Class C misdemeanors along with two Class D felonies for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated after a prior conviction and operation of a vehicle with more than 0.08 percent alcohol concentration after a prior conviction. As part of a plea agreement, Devine pleaded guilty to the first D felony count and the three other counts were dismissed. St. Joseph Superior Judge Jerome Frese then sentenced Devine to a one-year suspended sentence and one year of probation. Devine also was ordered to serve three 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. shifts at the county jail. The 2006 case was the only infraction considered as a felony in Devine's driving history. Police documents from Devine's 2006 arrest say Devine has never had a valid Indiana license and dispatch data showed repeated suspensions and prior convictions on only an expired ID card. On July 20, 2009, in Michigan, a drug informant notified Niles City Police Department he was arrested for the delivery of marijuana at the Wal-Mart, 2107 S. 11th St. When a female driver of the silver SUV in which Devine and another male were riding pulled into the Wal-Mart parking lot about 7:30 p.m. on July 20, 2009, three Niles city police officers (two undercover) were waiting for them. After Devine and the woman went inside the store and returned five minutes later with no shopping bags in their hands, they got into the SUV. Police made a traffic stop on the vehicle and asked, in separate interviews, why the three were at the Wal-Mart, according to police. "All three gave conflicting information as to why they were there," said court records. Police asked the woman driver and Devine if they could search the vehicle and they said yes, but they added that the vehicle didn't belong to them. In a twist of irony, a police dog with a Niles officer discovered marijuana in the back of Devine's vehicle. Police found 10 1-pound bags of marijuana in a camouflage bag. When the three were arrested both Devine and his male friend blamed the other for why they had marijuana in the SUV, court records revealed. Devine was sentenced on Oct. 19 after a plea agreement to two days in jail with credit for two days served. He also was placed on probation for 18 months with several conditions. He was convicted in October and placed on probation, but could face four years for violation of probation. According to the probation terms, Devine was prohibited from drinking and from being away from his Mishawaka house between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to Berrien County Drug Court records. Devine could break his curfew but his probation officer needed to be advised. Devine also had to undergo random alcohol and drug testing and his probation terms for alcohol was zero tolerance.

For this accident with Cpl Szuba, Devine faces five charges including: operating while intoxicated and causing the death of another person, two counts of operating with a controlled substance and causing death to another person, resisting law enforcement and a habitual substance offender. Devine's blood alcohol level was at .239 percent at time of the crash, nearly three times the legal limit. The legal limit is .08. Devine faces up to 31 years in prison. On 1/14/10 Devine was transferred from the hospital to the St. Joseph County jail. On 1/15/10, just after a few hours after the service started for Cpl. Szuba, Devine appeared in court for the first time in a wheelchair and was rolled in by deputies into a jail room to be arraigned before a judge via video conference.  A preliminary plea of not guilty was entered for Devine.  Devine’s next court date will be on 1/21/10 in front of St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Jane Woodward Miller and has a $100,000 bond.  A judge set Devine's trial date for May 10, 2010. On his plea deadline date of March 30, 2010 he pleaded guilty to seven felony counts. Count 1, causing a death - Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (alcohol) Count 2, causing a death - Operating a vehicle while under the influence of a Schedule 1 controlled substance (cocaine) Count 3, causing a death - Operating a vehicle while under the influence of a Schedule 2 controlled substance (Vicodin) Count 4, causing a death while resisting law enforcement ,Count 5, he pleaded guilty to being a habitual substance abuse offender (this allows the court to impose an additional sentence) Count 6, possession of cocaine Count 7,  possession of controlled substance (Vicodin) The plea agreement says Devine will spend at least 20 years but no more than 37 years in prison. Devine had a long record of drunk driving offenses. Because of that he was also charged with being a habitual controlled substance offender. It allows the court to impose an extra 3 to 8 years in prison. On May 14, 2010 Judge Jane Woodward Miller sentenced Shawn Devine to thirty one years in prison.

Also because of this tragedy causing the death of a police dog while driving drunk could not be prosecuted as a separate crime before this accident. In March of 2010, Ricky's Law was passed, making it a Class D felony to be an impaired driver who causes a police animal's death. In Indiana, it was already a Class D felony to "knowingly or intentionally" injure a law-enforcement animal and cause its death, but state law did not provide for a criminal charge when the animal's death is caused by impaired driving. The law now makes it possible for a Class D felony charge to be filed against impaired drivers who cause such an animal's death. A Class D felony conviction carries a potential sentence of six months to three years in prison. It also raises the penalty for drivers who cause the death of an officer while fleeing police from a Class B felony to a Class A felony. Those convicted of a Class A felony face prison sentences of 20 years to 50 years. This law will serve as a tribute and recognize the sacrifice and honor the memory of Officer Szuba, along with his trained K-9 partner. The Senate approved this by a vote of 36-14, and the House voted 67-28 in favor of it.

On 12/6/10 Cpl. James Szuba’s  wife testified at a hearing before St. Joseph Superior Court Judge David Chapleau and is seeking up to $5 million in damages in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against David Devine.


Sgt. Brett Meredith
January 2, 2010 - New South Wales, Australia - Age 39
Sergeant Meredith, 39, was in a night club on January 1, 2010, while off duty  in Katherine and tried to stop a fight on New Years Day.  Sergeant Meredith was punched once in the head after which he fell hitting his head hard on the ground and was knocked unconscious and suffered severe head injuries. He never regained consciousness. He was at Club 23 with friends, including another off-duty officer, Kevin Carr, and when a fight broke out and the pair intervened. Two men are in custody over the incident, in which Constable Carr received minor injuries. Sergeant Meredith's  wife Amee, a decorated police officer, was on duty near by and rushed to her husband's side as he was taken to Katherine hospital and placed in an induced coma, and was then medi-vacced at about 7.45am on New Year's Day to Royal Darwin Hospital where he underwent surgery for a fractured skull and swelling to the brain. At 5:00 p.m. the following day a decision was made to take him off life support when Doctors told Amee Meredith that Brett had a 1 per cent chance of survival and the best scenario for him was that he would not be aware of his surroundings. Sergeant Meredith then passed away at 5:08 p.m. The security-camera footage based on what was seen shows they were not prepared for the attack and there is no way Sergeant Meredith was an instigator. Breath samples taken from Sgt Meredith at the hospital after the incident revealed a blood alcohol reading of 0.20 per cent. Sergeant Meredith joined the NSW police in 1990, working in the State Protection Group Dog Unit. He was awarded the NSW Police Medal in 2004 and the National Police Medal in 2006. In 2000, he was given a citation for his role in the arrest of a violent offender and in 2006 was given a certificate of merit for his part in arresting armed offenders during a robbery. In 2005 he became a dog handler and specialised in explosives' detection. In late 2007, the couple sold their house at Bargo, in the NSW southern highlands and moved to the Territory, seeking a safer home for their children, Samuel, 6, Jordy, 4, and Abbey, 2. Sgt Meredith is also father to Brad, 9, and Lily, 7, from a previous marriage. Over one thousand attended his service and a private ceremony was held for his cremation. A slow-moving riderless horse marked the beginning of the funeral for Brett Meredith. The horse bore a saddle with a pair of empty boots reversed in the stirrups, representing a fallen leader looking back on his troops for the last time, as it made its way to the Cathedral. A trust fund has been set up to help the family of fallen policeman Brett Meredith. Deposits can be made electronically to: NT Police Association Inc. ATF Brett Meredith, BSB: 805-005, Account No: 5116830. People in NT and SA can also make donations at any branch of the Police Credit Union. For more information or if problems are faced, contact Julie Colbert at the association's office on (08) 8981 8840.

Both Michael Simon Martyn and Aaron James Vale have been both charged in the incident that happened on New Years Day. Michael Simon Martyn, 38, a builder's laborer, has been charged with one count of manslaughter over the officer's death and magistrate Melanie Little remanded Mr Martyn in custody until January 13.  Aaron James Vale, 28, appeared in the Darwin Magistrates Court charged with assault on a police officer  and causing harm,  for assaulting Const Carr. He's accused of punching Const Carr as he tried to assist his unconscious friend. Magistrate Daynor Trigg refused bail for Vale and adjourned the matter until January 14. 2010.

On 1/14/10 Aaron James Vale, 28, appeared in the Darwin Magistrates Court and will have to live at his grandmother's  house and not drink alcohol or go to any licensed venues. Mr. Vale's mother Kerry Vale had to put down a $1,000 cash security for Mr. Vale's release. Vale pleaded guilty to an aggravated assault of Constable Kevin Carr and on June 1, 2010 Aaron James Vale was sentenced in Katherine Magistrates Court  to seven months in prison , but it was suspended on the 14 days he had already served. Vale's seven-month sentence was suspended on the conditions that he be under supervision for 12 months, and not drink alcohol or enter licensed premises for six months.

When Michael Simon Martyn appeared in the Darwin Magistrates Court court on 1/13/10 the court heard how he extensive criminal history spanning the NT, NSW and South Australia. Martyn's lawyer, Glen Dooley, told the court. it was possible a self-defence case would be raised. He told the court the incident had started when Martyn brushed past Sgt Meredith at Club 23. Mr Dooley said the security guards who removed Martyn from the scene gave statements claiming that Martyn shook their hands and apologised for his behaviour as he left the club to go home. He was later arrested by police. Constable Kevin Carr, who was celebrating New Year's Eve with Sgt Meredith, described Sgt Meredith as intoxicated but not "staggering drunk". Mr Dooley asked that his client be granted bail to reside with his young family in Adelaide.  Sgt O'Neill said SA police did not have the power to arrest Martyn if he breached the conditions of his bail agreement. He said granting Martyn bail to reside in NT would also pose problems, due to concerns he may try to interfere with witnesses. Previously convicted of multiple charges relating to assaulting police, aggravated assault and the deprivation of liberty, the court heard police in NSW describe Martyn as a "standover man" who intimidated witnesses. Magistrate Sue Oliver ordered a bail assessment report and adjourned the matter until January 19, 2010. On January 19, 2010 Martyn was granted bail on his birthday on the condition he did not associate with anyone on a list of hundreds of potential witnesses. He will have to report to police every day, is not allowed to buy or consume alcohol, is not allowed to leave the Darwin area, and has a curfew between 8pm and 6am. Martyn will appear before the court again on February 9, 2010. At his February 9, 2010 court appearance his restrictions were made less. Before he had to report to the police on a daily basis but now only has to report into police on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and is allowed to go fishing. On May 11, 2010, Michael Simon Martyn's committal hearing started with fifty witnesses to be called. On June 16, 2011, Michael Simon Martyn. Was found guilty of manslaughter. A Supreme Court jury of 5 women and seven men returned a guilty verdict in two hours. On June 16, 2011, Michael Simon Martyn, 40, was found guilty of manslaughter. A Supreme Court jury of 5 women and seven men returned a guilty verdict in two hours. Martyn was  sentenced by Judge Peter Barr  July 20, 2011 to three years and eight months in jail, with a non-parole period of one year and 10 months, for the manslaughter of Sergeant Brett Meredith, 39.




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