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Two Leesburg Police Dogs Retire From Crime Fighting

© Leesburg Today - 06/24/2015

Leesburg Sgt. Dale Depoy recently had to say goodbye to his longtime crime-fighting partner: a German Shepherd named Bak.

""It's strange because it's something I've relied on. He's always been there, and I knew I could always count on him through the eight years of bonding,"" Depoy said. ""I had no question that he was going to do the job. To have that special bond with anything, it's hard to lose.""

Nine-year-old Bak and nine-and-a-half-year-old Otto, also a German Shepherd, retired last week from the Leesburg Police Department after a combined 16 years of tracking, narcotics detections, criminal apprehensions, building searches and public demonstrations.

Otto began his career with the department in 2007 and, along with partner master police officer Greg Parsons, has been credited with two apprehensions, 37 alerts resulting in narcotic seizures and 81 area searches.

Bak, who began his career with Depoy in 2008, helped make one apprehension, completed six successful tracks, 127 alerts resulting in narcotic seizures and 41 area searches.

Both are retiring to a life of luxury with their handlers.

""The only thing I'm lucky for is I get to go home and he's with me,"" Depoy said.

There's now one K-9 unit currently on duty in the department. It boasts a bomb-detection dog named Sally.

Parsons said he already misses working with Otto but there's no ""greater feeling"" than getting to live with the pooch. A highlight for Parsons and Otto came just three days after completing training in Patrol School, when Otto tracked and located a suspect who ran off after a pursuit with Loudoun County deputies in Sterling.

""I was amazed how well Otto performed being such a new dog to the streets. The training worked,"" Parsons said.

Depoy said among the highlights of working with Bak was the first narcotics alert and an assault case that he helped solve. The dog went down into a sewer and located a bat that was used in the assault, which led to the arrest of a suspect.

""To see him go pick out something I had no idea was there-that was incredible,"" Depoy said.

Depoy said Bak has his own bedroom in his basement, but it's still weird not having his partner in his patrol car. He said being a K-9 officer has been ""one of the best jobs in law enforcement.""

""I had a partner who I never had to worry about what he was doing during the day, never complained about what radio station I'm listening to and when things go down, I knew I could always count on him,"" Depoy said.

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