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Police pay tribute to K-9 Kilo & K-9 Diesel

Emily Ness
Updated: October 21, 2020 10:21 PM

K-9’s—like police officers—put their lives on the line to protect their communities day and night, all four seasons, year-round. Sadly, the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department said goodbye to both K-9 Kilo and K-9 Diesel this week. Both dogs passed away unexpectedly, as a result of medical issues brought on by old age.

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“They’ve both done great jobs on the road,” Lieutenant Jason Akerson, who helps manage the dogs said. “Both of them had over 300 deployments during their career. That’s anywhere from building searches, vehicle searches, tracking suspects.”

K-9 Kilo was 10-and-a-half-years-old and had retired from his duties on the force after working with the Sargent Silgjord for nine years. K-9 Diesel, on the other hand, was just shy of his eighth birthday and had been off-duty for some time after working with Deputy Ben Fye for six years.

“The handlers learn to trust their dogs and they trust them with their life,” Akerson said. “The bond, that trust—it’s just an amazing thing to see.”

Some highlights of K-9 Kilo’s career include catching suspects in below zero temperatures and finding vulnerable adults. While, some highlights of K-9 Diesel’s career include apprehending a man who'd been firing a semi-automatic rifle, a drug dealer armed with a large knife, and a man who'd broken into a couple's home and held them at gun point.

K-9 Kilo had several medical issues, but his death was not expected. While, K-9 Diesel had several surgeries over the years, but was doing well until he unexpectedly lost function in his rear legs—leading to the difficult decision to put him to sleep.

Beyond their efforts to protect the public, Lieutenant Ackerson hopes that the dogs will be remembered for their efforts to connect with the public on a deeper level.

“Both Deputy Fye and Sargent Silgjord were tremendous at getting their dogs out into the public, interacting with people, attending events,” Lieutenant Ackerson said. “It breaks down barriers for us and you know, we can interact positively with people and today, that's a great thing to be able to do that.”

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Department has purchased another K-9 for their force. Ackerson said that dog is currently undergoing training.

Typically, the Northland K-9 Foundation hosts a fundraiser for the K-9’S every October, but this year it was cancelled as a result of the pandemic. To make up for money lost, Akerson said the Northland K-9 Foundation is accepting donations online to support their program. Anyone who is interested in donating can do so here.

Credits

Emily Ness

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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