Police Officer Suspended After K-9 Partner Dies in Hot Car

WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:

  • A K-9 was left in a hot car when his partner Police Officer went inside the headquarters for a meeting.
  • Upon his return, the K-9 was already in distress as it suffered a heat stroke and had to be euthanized.
  • The officer was not charged for any crime but was suspended for 20 hours and the incident paved the way for new protocols involving K-9 care.

K-9 Ike’s death left his police officer partner distraught but also brought about changes in the Maricopa Police Department.

An internal investigation showed that K-9 Ike was left in a car on a 105-degree day while Officer Corey Curry attended a meeting at the police headquarters.

Officer Curry had a K-9 heat alarm, but he did not realize that he left the pager connected to it in the vehicle.

When Curry returned, K-9 Ike had already been left in the patrol vehicle for 90 minutes and discovered the K-9 in respiratory distress.

The car and its cooling system were off.

K-9 Ike had suffered heatstroke.  He had to be euthanized.

Maricopa Police Chief James Hughes said, “Officer Corey has been with us for many years and he was distraught.”

According to the investigation handled by the Dept. of Public Safety and then the Pinal County Attorney, Officer Curry failed to exercise proper care of the K-9, used the patrol vehicle unsafely, and reprimanded him for unsatisfactory code of conduct.

As a result, Officer Curry was suspended for 20 hours but has not been charged with any crimes. The Maricopa Police Department has also issued a new set of protocols.

The protocols call for a new K-9 vehicle with a state-of-the-art safety system that includes a portable kennel for moving the dog indoors, and a yearly program review.

Monthly vehicle safety inspections will also be conducted and a mandatory 30-minute time limit for K-9s left in a vehicle.

Chief Hughes said, “With any incident of this magnitude, as well as in our day-to-day practices, we always look for ways in which we can improve. We have taken a hard look at our policies and procedures, implementing preventive measures to ensure something like this will never occur again.”

K-9 Ike was the first Maricopa officer – canine or human – to die in the line of duty.

A small private memorial for K-9 Ike is planned later this month.

Chief Hughes added, “The loss of the canine was the last to the entire department and we will move forward and continue to serve the public the best way we can.”

A new K-9 officer named Murphy has been added to the department.

Source: Fox 5 Atlanta

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