Carrboro police officers and townspeople gathered to recognize the retirement of this distinguished four-legged member of the Carrboro Police Department.
Tuesday marked the official day of retirement for Kilo. The celebration of Kilo’s notable and long service was held at the Carrboro Town Hall.
Sgt. James Walker of the Carrboro K-9 unit has been working with and handling Kilo for seven years. He said it is moments like this that really make you appreciate the sacrifice these dogs make for the community.
Walker said the patrol dogs are trained every Tuesday to ensure they remain agile and ready for action.
“All of our dogs are full police patrol dogs,” he said. “We train them to respond to tracking, narcotics and apprehension. We set up the training to resemble real life scenarios potentially faced by the dogs.”
Throughout Kilo’s nine years of service, Walker estimated that around 65 to 70 arrests were made due to the canine’s many skills.
“I appreciate all of the support the K-9 unit receives because it is an expense,” he said. “So we always try to make sure our job is done right.”
Carrboro Police Chief Walter Horton said the hours of training and work create a unique bond between an officer and patrol dog.
“Everyone who has a pet knows that you establish a bond with them, and the same occurs for those that train and work with our K-9 unit,” Horton said.
Sgt. Walker said the patrol dogs become a part of the officer’s family. Each officer is charged with taking care of his or her patrol dog.
“I fixed him a big steak last night,” he said. “His last shift with me was on Sunday. It will be difficult to go into my shift on Wednesday with a new dog in my car.”
Sgt. Walker said even though it may be hard at first he knows it is best for Kilo.
“I don’t want to work him hard in his old age,” he said. “I want him to enjoy his retirement.”
Looking to the future, Sgt. Walker said he is eager to form a lasting bond with his new patrol dog, Turbo.
“It is something that you have to love to do,” he said. “If I didn’t love it so much I would not have gotten another dog to train. I look forward to developing a great bond with Turbo.”
Carrboro Police Capt. Chris Atack said patrol dogs are a crucial part of law enforcement and hopes to see more events centered on honoring their careers.
“They are clearly an asset to the department,” he said. “They bring a special set of skills that contribute to the tool box of skills enforcement can utilize.”