COMANCHE, Okla. (TNN) - After three years tracking down drugs and wanted suspects with the Comanche Police Department, K9 Officer Wako is no longer in the line of duty.
We first introduced you to Wako last fall when the K9 team was a finalist in a competition for a new vehicle.
“I really wasn’t ready to see him go,” said Chief Bill Straily, the Police Chief of the Comanche Police Department.
K9 Officer Wako is retiring sooner than planned due to health problems.
“Spots on his nose were just popping up and the hair would fall out," said Brad Jenkins, Wako’s former handler and a retired Sergeant with the Comanche Police Department. "So, I took him to the vet.”
Waco was diagnosed with Lupus, a disease where the immune system attacks the body.
“That’s when we knew, we found out we were going to have to retire him,” said Chief Straily.
With specialized training in the detection of illegal narcotics, Wako is retiring with an impressive work record and he’s had his share of big cases.
“It was late, around midnight, out west of town on 53 we stopped a car and Wako found a decent amount of methamphetamine, but it was actually a juvenile selling it,” said Jenkins.
Just Wako’s presence was enough for some people bent on challenging the limit of the law to suddenly make wiser decisions.
“Even before he was certified he was helping get drugs off the streets," said Jenkins. "The story in particular that comes to mind is, I pulled this lady back and had her sit in the passenger seat. I was talking to her and he was in the back running around. Ma’am do you have anything illegal? No, no. Is my dog going to find anything? And at that point she reaches in her shirt and pulls out marijuana from her bra.”
From working dog to family pet--Waco was able to stay with his former handler.
“That was the main thing that I really wanted for him to at least stay with his family,” said Jenkins.
He’s now adjusting to the life of leisure, free from chasing criminals and sniffing out hidden narcotics.
“We’re really going to miss him helping get narcotics off the streets," said Chief Straily. "It’s a little harder now. We still can get it done, but with Wako it was pretty simple.”
“Wako really enjoyed working for the city," said Jenkins. "He was just happy to go for a ride and go catch bad guys.”
In his retirement, Wako is looking forward to playing ball all day and getting lots of belly rubs.
The Comanche Police Department is holding a retirement ceremony for Wako on Monday, September 30th at 6:00 p.m. The department will present him with a plaque and honor him for his years of service to the department and the community.