Retirement is a time to celebrate a job well done. The change can be an emotional experience for those who worked closely with each other. Especially someone who is a best friend, even Man’s Best Friend. Two South Bend Police Officers are retiring together, and one of them is also the family dog.
You can tell the relationship is a special one as his handler expresses emotions and tears up talking about him.
Meet K9 Officer Cooper
German Shepherd Cooper was called to duty for five years with the South Bend Police Department. He worked closely with his handler Sergeant Dan Demler who also welcomed the dog into his family.
Cooper was involved in the apprehension and sentencing of 32 criminals. Cooper’s retirement comes at the right time as Demler points out the early signs of hip dysplasia.
Officer by day and loyal family dog by night
Cooper is a loving dog to Sergeant Demler’s wife and three daughters. Demler explains that at home Cooper listens more to his daughter than to him. But when they suit up and go on patrol, Cooper is all business.
Demler explains his routine…
“We want it to have a light switch, you know. When at home, I’m just a dog, at work I am a work dog and I mean business.”
Sergeant Dan Demler
Sergeant Demler has also retired after 21 years with the South Bend Police Department. He has taken a new job as the President of the Fraternal Order of Police in South Bend, a police officer’s union.
Cooper will spend his retirement as the Demler’s family pet.
“Human law enforcement officers need to be a special type of person, and police dogs must be a special type of dog.”
According to the American Kennel Club, a police dog is trained to work in three areas of policing: Apprehension, Detection and Search and Rescue.
“These breeds are known for their incredible working ability, their desire to cooperate with their handlers, and, in some cases, their tenacity in fighting criminals.”
Cooper at Work
Sergeant Demler had a hunch that Cooper was something special. Cooper was excellent at tracking suspects who are evading the police. During their first couple of months working together, Cooper was tracking during a homicide investigation, and soon enough Cooper led Demler right to the suspect.
A Special Bond
Sergeant Demler and Cooper have developed a bond over the past five years working and living together.
“I told my wife numerous times, I don’t know that I’ve ever had one that’s loved me as much as he does. People can say, dogs don’t love, but I call B.S. on that.”
Some Sad News
Recently the South Bend Police Department had to deliver some sad news to their community. K9 Officer Cooper has passed away a year after his retirement.
This is the same sad end that came to Demler’s previous two K9 partners.
Sergeant Demler discusses his two previous K9 partners.
“I get so emotional thinking about it … my experience with my previous two dogs these dogs live to work. They love family life but they live the work.”
Youtubers express their thanks to both of the officers.
“Thanks you for your service Cooper.”
“Thank you both for your service. Happy retirement.”
Watch the video below and take an inside look into how K9 work dogs and their handlers become best friends.
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