Officials, community mourn loss of ISP K-9 - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Officials, community mourn loss of ISP K-9

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SELLERSBURG, Ind. (WDRB) -- Authorities in Southern Indiana are trying to figure out how to say goodbye after losing one of their own during a standoff in Sellersburg on Monday night.

Many say their four legged friend was one of a kind at the state police department.

Indiana State Police in Sellersburg have a stone memorial outside of the post.  They said they are saddened that another name will be added to that list after one of their own was killed in the line of duty. 

"For us, Kilo is an officer, you know, some people he's a dog, a canine, that's a police officer to us," said Sellersburg Police Chief Russ Whelan.

The German Shepherd only stood about 3-feet tall, but co-workers say Kilo made up in talent what he lacked in height.

"Kilo does the job of probably ten troopers," ISP Sgt. Jerry Goodin told WDRB in 2011.

Those who helped prosecute drug traffickers and users said the K-9 and his right hand man, handler Trooper Nathan Abbott made a great team.

"Trooper Abbott and Kilo have been invaluable to Clark County in helping to reduce the drug trafficking here in the county," said Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull.

Abbott told WDRB in 2011 that Kilo was family. 

"It can be very frustrating, but very rewarding at time," Abbott said.

"It's almost like raising a child."

Police from other Southern Indiana departments said the K-9/officer bond extended beyond the confines of the office.

"They are with them 24/7," said Whelan.

"It's not, you know, a tool that we have that we pick them up when we get to work, that is a member of their family."

Abbott and Kilo had been cleaning up the streets for seven years.  In that time, those who helped them sniff out and punish the bad guys say they could not have done it without him.

"I think it makes such a worthwhile difference in the community," said Mull.

Mull said he worked closely with families affected by drugs and he saw firsthand how families appreciated the work done by canines, namely Kilo.

"This type of drug enforcement activity that Kilo and Trooper Abbott were involved in most definitely saves this sort of anguish for parents, saves these younger generations of kids from getting involved in this," Mull said.

Those who wore the uniform with him loved him just the same, as a four legged brother.

"We lost a member of our family yesterday and that's tough for me," said Whelan.

"I cannot even imagine how tough it would be for the handler."

Trooper Mary Sanchez of ISP in Sellersburg said Abbott did not want to comment at this time, but was very saddened to lose his best friend.

"Trooper Abbott is very upset about this whole ordeal," said Sanchez.

"He knows Kilo was doing the job he was trained to do and he knows that he saved officers doing it. But it doesn't take the pain away anymore."

Sanchez and others said the furry friend will be sorely missed.

"Kilo was a dog who was just there to serve and do what he was trained to do and serve and help human beings like dogs are," said Mull.

Sanchez said though he is gone, they will not let him be forgotten.

"Plans are in the process right now and there is no doubt in my mind that we will have a service for Kilo because he died in the line of duty just like a human officer would," Sanchez said.

Mull said the suspect, Joshua Priddy, will be "prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law" for killing an officer.  Among other charges, Priddy faces a Class-D felony charge of killing a law enforcement animal.

"He died bravely, he died doing what he was trained to do and we will all be proud of him and we won't forget him," Mull said.

Troopers say Kilo was wearing a bulletproof vest when he was shot. There is a memorial fund set up to purchase a new K-9 for ISP Post 45 if Abbott decides to get another dog.  If not, the money will go to the ISP general K-9 fund.  For more information on how to donate to the "Kilo Fund," click here.

Copyright 2013 by WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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