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K-9 police remembered

A canine member of the Brookhaven Police Department team was put down Monday morning at the Brookhaven Animal Hospital.

Ike, an imported German shepherd, was suffering from cancer and had to be euthanized.

PHOTO SUBMITTED /  Officer Clint Earls stands with K-9 officer Ike outside of the state penitentiary prison in Jackson.

PHOTO SUBMITTED / Officer Clint Earls stands with K-9 officer Ike outside of the state penitentiary prison in Jackson.

“He was a big ham. That’s just the best way to describe him,” Officer Clint Earls said. “He was easy going and social. He was good around kids. Ike was like a big ole baby. The only time that he swapped over into police training was whenever he was told to do so. ”

Ike joined the department in 2007 as a dual-purpose dog, meaning he could track, detect narcotics and apprehend. Ike served the BPD for seven years as Earls’ partner.

“He was trained to do it all,” Earls said. “He was just a good all around partner. When he wasn’t working, he would lay there and anybody in the world could walk up to him and pet him.”

Ike lived with Earls and his family since he was brought to Brookhaven at the age of four. Ike was a full-time officer for several years while Earls worked as a night K9 officer from midnight to 8 a.m. When Earls was moved to investigation, Ike worked part time as needed.

“He’d help with everything from tracking to narcotics detection on traffic stops, house searches. Sometimes just the fact that he was there; he did not have to do anything but stand there to hinder an altercation,” Earls said.

Earls said with the onset of the cold weather, Ike collapsed and was unable to get up. Earls took him to see Dr. Bob Watson, a veterinarian at the Brookhaven Animal Hospital. Watson reported the dog had cancer that was interfering with his central nervous system or spine and keeping him from getting up.

“I want to thank Dr. Bob for everything,” Earls said. “They make a hard situation a lot easier.”

Service dogs like Ike are an important part of law enforcement and are staples on teams across the county. They are often involved in many dangerous situations and many are killed or hurt in the line of duty.

“Ike could be a deterrent when he had to be. He could be a tracker when he had to be. He could be a narcotics detector when he had to be. He could go get somebody when he had to. He was all those factors and rolled into one package,” said Earls.

Earls added it would be a substantial amount of money to replace all of those traits individually with equipment, and the personality could never be replaced.

Ike was part of Earls’s family, and his loving personality will be missed.