Chief David Dial isn’t the only cop to take off his badge for the final time. After ten years on the job, 11 ½ year old officer Kairo is retiring from the force.
For nearly a decade, K-9 Kairo and his partner Eddie Corneliusen have searched buildings, sniffed for drugs, and chased after people running from them. But now Officer Corneliusen will have to hit the streets alone.
“He’s reaching an age where he’s starting to slow down a little bit, his stamina isn’t quite there anymore,” said Corneliusen. “It’s probably time for him to pass it on to a young dog and let the younger guys go out there an get him.”
Kairo has been a loyal and obedient partner for Officer Corneliusen, and the two have accomplished many things over the years. One that Corneliusen is most proud of is a find out of a vehicle being towed.
“We were able to do a drug sniff around that vehicle and found a hidden compartment that contained a quarter of a million dollars of money they suspected was heading back down to Mexico. Drug money,” said Corneliusen.
Kairo won’t be working anymore, but he’ll still live with Corneliusen.
He’s technically city property, but after a dog retires, the officer has the option to transfer ownership and take the dog home.
“Every time he sees me and sees the uniform he gets kind of excited and jazzed up like he’s going to work, so it’s going to be a little different for him,” said Corneliusen. “Hopefully he’ll be able to take retirement and relax for a while.”
When a K-9 retires, the officer must leave the unit and pass it on to the next guy.
Eric Muska and Niko are ready to carry the torch, but know they have some big shoes- and paws- to fill.
“It’s going to take a long to time to get up to speed, for Niko and I to get up to where they were,” said Muska. “It’s definitely set the bar high for us to match what they did when they were here.”
Niko is a passive alert dog, meaning when he finds drugs or property he simply sits instead of scratching or biting at it. Muska and Niko’s new co-workers in the unit are seven-year veterans Chris Sherwin and Sabek, who is an aggressive alert dog. This allows the city to have one of each, something they’ve never had before.
The new team is finished with their official training but will keep working everyday at becoming partners.
“You try and prepare as much as you can, but nothing prepares you when you get the dog of your own,” said Muska. “I’m really excited and looking forward to working with Chris and Sabek.”
Although Kairo won’t be on the job anymore Officer Corneliusen will still be on hand to help the younger team.
WANT MORE LOCAL NEWS?
Get daily news headlines delivered to your inbox!Sign Up Today!