Cedartown Po­lice say­ing good­bye to Kai

Kai, long­time CPD po­lice dog, bids fond farewell as new pup Baro comes aboard

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE - By KEVIN MYRICK Editor

The goal of ev­ery po­lice of­fi­cer is to end their ca­reer with years of re­tire­ment ahead of them, and last week that’s how one ca­reer came to an end in Cedartown.

Ex­cept this four­legged cop won’t be spend­ing his golden years on fish­ing or golf, but will in­stead be look­ing to­ward his part­ner on the force for affectionate scratches be­hind the ears and treats at the end of the day.

Kai, who has served the Cedartown Po­lice Depart­ment faith­fully for seven years, fin­ished his du­ties with the force ear­lier this month and is be­ing re­placed by a new K-9, “Baro” ( pro­nounced like Bar­row.)

Po­lice Chief Jamie New­some said the two Bel­gian Mali­nois will re­main with their han­dler, Sgt. John Zuker.

“It’s typ­i­cal in­dus­try wide for a dog to go to its for­mer han­dler for a few rea­sons,” New­some said. “The first is that you just can’t have the heart to put it to sleep. And then just your com­mon citizen with that kind of dog would be a bad idea. You can’t res­cue out a dog with this kind of train­ing.”

“It wouldn’t be re­spon­si­ble for me to give that dog to just any owner and ex­pect them to han­dle it like they do a Cocker spaniel,” New­some said.

So for a min­i­mal amount – since the dog is still tech­ni­cally Cedartown Po­lice Depart­ment prop­erty – Zuker will give Kai a lov­ing home where he can en­joy belly rubs and treats along with Zuker’s new part­ner Baro.

Zuker said he was sad that Kai will no longer be work­ing with him day to day. But hav­ing cho­sen Baro from the same train­ing fa­cil­ity - K-9 Con­cepts out of Louisiana, New­some said - will make it an eas­ier tran­si­tion.

“Kai’s a big part of the fam­ily,” Zuker said. “It’s said that he’s be­ing re­placed by another dog, but we’ll still have him in our lives.”

Zuker ex­plained that the dogs will mostly stay out of con­tact with each other, with Kai get­ting to en­joy life in­side while Baro takes up the work of fight­ing crime.

“They’ll live in two sep­a­rate ken­nels, and Kai gets to stay in­doors now that he’s no longer work­ing,” he said.

Kai joined the Cedartown Po­lice Depart­ment seven years ago fol­low­ing the un­timely death of the depart­ment’s for­mer K-9 Dan from a gas­tric bloat.

His day to day du­ties with Zuker mainly re­volved around us­ing his nose to sniff out illegal drugs or things like ex­plo­sives, and to track sus­pects flee­ing from po­lice or to lo­cate miss­ing chil­dren, what is called ac­tive and pas­sive search­ing ac­cord­ing to New­some.

The Bel­gian Mali­nois also was trained to sub­due sus­pects who flee from of­fi­cers who might be too dan­ger­ous for law en­force­ment to ap­proach, and to get into places where po­lice might not be able to fit dur­ing search and res­cue oper­a­tions in hunt­ing for sur­vivors.

“The Cedartown Po­lice Depart­ment uses mul­ti­pur­pose dogs, which are the most ver­sa­tile but also some­times the most dif­fi­cult to have,” New­some said.

Kai’s ex­ploits have been fea­tured sev­eral times over the years in the pages of first the Cedartown Stan­dard, and now the Polk County Stan­dard Jour­nal.

Those in­clude sev­eral drug busts and use of his trusty sense of smell to seek out sus­pects on the run. Most re­cently in last week’s edi­tion, Kai was men­tioned as part of cov­er­age of chases on Sept. 3 in Cedartown.

He tracked down Sa­muel Ed­ward Cash, 25, of 325 Fairview Ave., Cedartown, af­ter he fled from of­fi­cers fol­low­ing a short car chase on foot. Po­lice ar­rested Cash right where Kai said he would be, hav­ing found his scent and fol­lowed it to the back door of nearby apart­ment.

Kai, the Cedartown Po­lice Depart­ment’s trusted K-9, sits with his han­dler Sgt. John Zuker. Kai will re­main with Zuker through his golden years but will have a sep­a­rate ken­nel from his re­place­ment Baro.

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