We had a tragedy here in Wisconsin with a K9 officer this week. Wix a hard working dedicated bomb sniffing dog died of heat related complications.
Wix was a member of the Brown County Sheriff’s office. The city of Green Bay is located in Brown County. On the day in question Wix was working a special assignment in the village of Kohler, WI located in rural Sheboygan County. The village of Kohler is home to a very nice golf course that is a regular stop on the PGA tour.
At the time of his death Wix was helping with security for the PGA tour. As a explosive detection dog, having Wix on site for an event like the PGA would be important.
The investigation is still ongoing but facts made public are as follows. Wix completed checks of the grounds before the event. During the event his handler was assigned some crowd control duties that did not require the dog at his side. The official statement from the SO says
Wix was placed in the squad car with the engine running and the air conditioning on. Deputy Lemberger conducted checks on Wix throughout the morning. At approximately 12:30pm, Deputy Lemberger found Wix non-responsive in the back of his squad car and the air conditioning unit was not functioning properly. Deputy Lemberger’s squad car is equipped with K9 heat alarm which did not activate when the air conditioning unit failed.
Social media has become the de facto police oversight committee and is now giving opinions on this death. As usual few members of this committee have any knowledge of police work or the equipment we use. Here are just a few of the comments.
“Why are they left at all. Service dogs are allowed anywhere and a K9 dogs are service dogs of the highest order.”
“I think you should prosecute your officer for leaving his k9.. how can he leave his friend unattended.”
“Faulty my ass!!! He forgot to turn it on”
“Something is being covered up. Officer Lemberger should never been assigned a K-9”
“WTF is wrong with you police”
“How about geeee I don’t know..here’s an idea …keep the dog with you at all times!!!!!!”
“a case of lazy ass syndrome and didn’t want to take the k-9 with him”
“If I were a police k-9 handler he would be with me all the time”
I think you get the point. The comments bash both the individual officer and the profession of Law Enforcement.
This was an accident. I doubt the officer had any intent to harm his partner. As we all know the wisdom of 20/20 hindsight will show something could have been done different. That is the reality of an accident. It is sad this K9 was lost, but that is not a reason to feed the cop hate. Yet sadly that is happening.