The Waverly Police Department regrets to announce that our canine, Axle, died this morning from complications of a heart condition. Axle, who was 9 years old, began his service with the Department in 2004. He was certified in narcotics detection and criminal apprehension and tracking. His handler was Officer David Ross.
"We are saddened by the loss of Axle, and our thoughts are with Officer Ross and his family. Axle was a valued member of our department, and it is especially difficult on Officer Ross because of the bond that a K9 handler and his partner develop", said Chief David Daniel.
Axle conducted over 400 drug searches during his career, leading to dozens of successful drug arrests and prosecutions, and thousands of dollars worth of drug fines and forfeitures. He also performed around 30 suspect tracks in Waverly and surrounding counties, and has done 2 physical and 4 non-physical apprehensions of felony suspects.
In 2008, he successfully tracked and apprehended a suspect who fired shots at the Imperial Lodge Motel in Waverly. "Axle located the suspect in this case who had fired shots at someone during an argument at the motel. The quick response of the K9 Unit brought a dangerous suspect into custody that night. Having the K9 available reduces the risk to the community and officers when violent crimes occur," said Chief Daniel.
Officer Ross and Axle participated in several community events including demonstrations for school groups and anti-drug programs such as D.A.R.E. "Our K9 Team has been outstanding in helping to get the anti-drug message out to our youth," said Chief Daniel.
Officer Ross and Axle were the 2010 winners of the District Attorney's D.A.R.E. award. The K9 Team also consistently ranked in the top 10 among dozens of K9's from the southeast in USPCA trials which test the canine's fitness for duty, and maintain K9 certifications.