K9 officers undergo rigorous training, are put in dangerous situations, and work long hours.
They may look forward to a hearty dinner and some downtime to rest or play with toys when their shift is over.
Meet K9 Duco, a Belgian Malinois who’s a member of the Post Falls Police K9 Unit in Idaho. Duco’s favorite on and off-duty pastime is chewing whatever he can get his teeth on.
Duco’s passion for chewing got him into some hot water with his handler and Lieutenant when he customized his patrol car.
After a long day, Duco and his partner/handler, Sergeant Frank Browne, headed home. Sgt. Browne noticed a car driving erratically and pulled the driver over. Sgt. Browne left Duco in the car while he spoke with the driver.
Duco wasn’t impressed with this end-of-the-shift traffic stop and let his stance be known by eating the weather stripping in the patrol car.
Duco’s naughty behavior didn’t go unnoticed by his handler or superiors.
Lieutenant Mark Brantl issued Duco an official warning letter to ensure Duco understood the seriousness of his actions and to refrain from future destruction of department property.
Here is the write-up:
“To: Duco, Police Services Dawg
From: Mark Brantl, Patrol Lieutenant
Date: February 28th, 2019
Subject: Letter of Counselling Damage to Pawtrol Vehicle
I was advised on February 27th, 2019, by your handler, Sergeant Frank Bowne, of damage that was caused to the weather stripping on the rear door of his patrol vehicle.
It is my understanding that just after midnight on February 27th, 2019, as your handler was driving you home that he witnessed a vehicle being driven erratically.
Sergeant Bowne made a traffic stop on that vehicle to check on the status of the driver. After finishing that traffic stop, Sergeant Bowne continued on and drove you home.
Once the two of you arrived at the residence, Sergeant Bowne discovered the remnants of the door’s weather stripping.
A quick investigation on his part showed teeth marks, drool patterns, and paw prints on the door, and the destroyed weather stripping.
Based on this evidence, it is Sergeant Bowne’s suspicion that you caused the damage during the traffic stop.
Duco, I understand that you are subjected to Sgt. Bowne’s horrible classic country music on a daily basis which must be ruff for you.
It is pawsible that you were simply frustrated by an after-shift traffic stop when you just wanted to get home to your dinner.
Regardless of the matter, this kind of damage is not acceptable, especially given the fact that you had previously chewed on the weather stripping and Sergeant Bowne thought he found a way to prevent you from getting to it again. It is unnecessary for you to try and prove that you are smarter than Sergeant Bowne…we already know this!
It was brought to my attention that Sergeant Bowne was gruff with you during your training day about the damage. I heard that he hounded you about it and said some hurtful things.
Rest assured that, at this point, we will not be taking away your toys. We know that you are a good boy. However, I need to make sure you understand that any further incidents of this nature could result in further discipline up to and including neutering.”
K9 Duco did not tuck his tail in defeat. Read his epic response.
“To: Lieutenant Mark Brantl
From: Police Service Dog Duco
Date: March 10th, 2019
Subject: Response to Letter of Counselling Damage to Pawtrol Vehicle
Due to the overwhelming response regarding my recent “Letter of Counseling,” I have asked my partner/handler to translate my words so I can address this issue directly.
I was selected as a Post Falls Police K9 because of my drives, character traits, and work ethic.
These drives, character traits, and work ethic were well known to the administrative staff of the department at the time of my initial employment and even encouraged as part of my duties.
Part of those duties is “Partner/Handler Protection.” I am tested yearly in this particular discipline as well as others. I excel in these disciplines and have been rewarded numerous times because of my success.
During the early morning hours of February 27th, 2019, my partner/handler conducted a traffic stop and left me inside the pawtrol car. Since I was not able to provide a visual deterrent to would-be “Bad Guys,” I felt it was my sworn duty to provide a deterrent nonetheless.
I made a decision to be aggressive and vocal for all to be warned; “If you try to harm my partner/handler, this is what will happen to you!” I must reiterate, I have been rewarded numerous times for this successful tactic.
Now, I apologize that equipment was damaged, but as you are aware, it is and always has been a rule that “Anything in my area of the pawtrol car is MINE!”
Therefore, I submit that the weather stripping that had come undone and provided me access to it was nothing more than an EQUIPMENT FAILURE that could have injured me and became MINE as soon as it was accessible.
I would also like to point out that this incident had nothing to do with my partner playing country music (I like country music), and it had nothing to do with wanting to go home (I like working). This was me simply doing my best to protect my partner.
I hereby formally APPEAL this Letter of Counseling and advise neutering will never occur.
Duco, Police Service Dog”
Well played, Duco, well played.
You can follow K9 Duco’s exploits along with his team members on the Post Falls Police K9 Unit’s Facebook page.