Shreveport Police Cpl. Chris Yarborough is back at the canine training center after the sudden death of his partner of five years: the Belgian Malinois named Mico.
"I had no preparation, so it was a little shocking," Yarborough says of Mico's death. "It was similar to losing a family member."
Yarborough and the other members of SPD's K9 division work all day beside their dogs, spending more time with their animals than with their families.
Trust is key, and Yarborough says he could always rely on Mico.
"If I was getting into trouble, I could get the door open, get him out of the car, then he was going to handle the problem I had," Yarborough says.
"You can never fully replace Mico," says SPD Cpl. Marcus Hines. "He was a great service member of our department."
Yarborough says he loves this work. So when the department assigned him to five year old Kevin, Yarborough knew the training would keep him busy and keep his mind off Mico.
"So far the bonding process has been great," Yarborough says. "The dog has taken to me really fast so I think the transition on the streets is going to be just as smooth."
Once the pair completes their 400 hours training regimen, Yarborough and Kevin will start patrols together, keeping the streets safer for Shreveport residents.
Mico assisted on several high profile arrests. In one case, he pulled a suspect from a moving car. Another time, Mico tracked a suspect through the Red River and made contact 30 feet from shore.
SPD also has another brand new dog in the K9 unit.
Shadow is about three and a half years old. The Belgian Malinois was bred in Holland.
The department waited about a month and a half for the $13,000 dog.
Shadow's handler, Andrew Presley, is new to the K9 unit. Presley and Shadow will begin patrols together once they complete the 400 hour training period.
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