Anderson K-9s honored
In just a matter of weeks, the Anderson Police Department lost two K-9 officers. Both dogs - Kilo and Magnum - were shot in the line of duty. Police say Saturday's memorial service for the dogs is the start of a new chapter in Anderson.
John Branson is a lieutenant with the Anderson Police Department. He is also K-9 trainer. Lt Branson helped prepare both Kilo and Magnum for their work. Arguably his most difficult job was Saturday giving the eulogy for both dogs.
"The suspect had been firing on the officer, severely wounding one and killing an innocent civilian. Then Officer Dulworth went down," said Lt. Branson. "And Kilo stood by his side."
Branson almost lost his composure recalling the incident that claimed the life of Kilo. It was July 26th when Kilo and his handler, Anderson Police Officer Marty Dulworth, were helping another police department with an armed suspect. The suspect shot both Kilo and Officer Dulworth.
Anderson Police had to euthanize Kilo.
Then a few weeks later, K-9 officer Magnum was shot by a bank robbery suspect in the woods. His handler, Anderson Police Officer Matt Jarrett, was close by.
A poem read by an Anderson Police officer remembers the dogs.
"The bullet struck me instead of you. When you go home tonight, tell your wife I did good strong tall and proud on the ground that I stood. I'm dead and gone now, this much is true, but I have done my job well by protecting you."
As the church service ended, a procession of K-9s and their handlers from across the country paid their last respects. "The language of the K-9s is such most of us do not understand but the tone is universal," says Anderson's Police Chief Larry Crenshaw. "Funerals are really for the living, not for the dead. It is remembrance and our loyalty to those two dogs words don't express."
Words spoken at a funeral have the best intentions, said Chief Crenshaw. "Let's write a chapter. Let's write a new chapter. Life goes on. Let's get back to work and do what we we're dedicated to do: serve the public and public safety."
But it is the actions of those not speaking that say the most. The Anderson Police department is hoping replace both Kilo and Magnum. Officer Dulworth is recovering from being shot in the foot and is expected not to be back at work until next summer.