Ever since dogs were first domesticated between 12,000 and 15,000 years ago, humans have used them for security and as assistants while hunting. From 1942 to 1945, a little over 19,000 dogs were donated to the U.S. Army for the Dogs for Defense program. About 45% of those were rejected as being unsuitable for training. Those which were accepted were trained for one of four important duties: sentry dog, scout or patrol dog, messenger dog, or mine dog. After the war, the dogs were rehabilitated and returned to the people who loaned them to the military. About 1,500 dogs were used as sentries in the Korean War, and during the Vietnam War, American troops used dogs to clear caves and tunnels of the Vietcong, as well as to find booby traps and land mines.
Police departments in the United States began utilizing police canines in the early 1960ís for crowd control, with their duties quickly being expanded to; subject location and apprehension, explosive detection, narcotics detection, weapon and money detection. Today, the police canines are an integral part in the daily operation of police operations across the country. It will never be known how many police officersí lives have been saved due to the skill and tenacity of K-9 teams which apprehend violent armed criminals day in and day out. Some of the criminals would have never been brought to justice if it were not for the natural ability police work dogs possess, which are enhanced and put to use by their partner, the police officer.
The Miami-Dade Police K-9 Memorial was dedicated on August 14, 2009 at Tropical Park (7900 SW 40 Street) to memorialize and honor all of the police canines that have served Miami-Dade County and the seven that died serving the citizens of Miami-Dade County. The seven canines memorialized on the wall of honor were inducted by the K-9ís partner/handler or a designated representative.
The seven dogs on the wall of honor are:
1. On August 1, 1976, Miami-Dade Police Department K-9 Dorn and City of Miami K-9 Mac died from heat exhaustion during the same search for violent robbery subjects in the area of NW 67 Avenue and 167 Street. Two Hialeah K-9ís also suffered from heat exhaustion during this search, but did not die. Sergeant Chuck Welden, Dornís partner, inducted Dorn and Max.
2. On September 26, 1980, Homestead Police Department K-9 Sarge died from his injuries when his partner was involved in a vehicle accident. Sarge was inducted by Sergeant Tony Traad.
3. On September 1, 1987, Florida Highway Patrol K-9 Beau died from heat exhaustion during a search for a felony subject at SW 152 Street and 137 Avenue. Beau was inducted by Lieutenant Jim Durden.
4. On March 4, 1997, Homestead Police Department K-9 Lazer died from his injuries when his partner was involved in a vehicle accident. Lazer was inducted by Sergeant Tony Traad.
5. On October 8, 1999, Miami-Dade Police Department K-9 Trax died from a tumor that burst around his heart, as he was agitating on a violent robbery subject he had apprehended. The incident occurred in the area of NW 46 Street and 25 Avenue. Trax was inducted by his partner, Officer Mike Cain.
6. On July 23, 2000, City of Miami K-9 Atlas was shot by a violent robbery subject as he fled in the area of NW 36 Street and 17 Avenue. Atlas was inducted by Officer John Blackerby.
The love, pleasure and enjoyment the police K-9 brings to his partner, the police officer, will never be able to be put into words. The bond between a police officer and his K-9 partner can only be understood if you have lived it, as so many K-9 officers have. The police canines do in fact serve man who serves mankind.
We are now offering a Service Legacy Brick for our canines who have faithfully serviced us and in doing so has served our Community. Click on the buttons below to open the application and agreement form.