Yesterday Commissioner Ian Stewart was joined by Dog Squad officers at the QPS Animal Memorial in Oxley to honour and pay tribute to Police Dog (PD) Waco who sadly passed away from heat exhaustion on February 3 after assisting with the tracking of offenders in Deception Bay the previous afternoon.
PD Waco’s operational career with the QPS spanned seven years during which he was responsible for locating missing people and hundreds of offenders for numerous offences ranging from armed robberies and unlawful woundings to break and enters.
Commissioner Stewart said serving animals were integral members of the QPS.
“Our police dogs and horses enhance not only our operational capabilities but also our engagement with the community that we serve,” Commissioner Stewart said.
“Police dogs live with their handlers’ full-time while serving and in retirement. This partnership establishes a bond for life between the pair and creates a formidable partnership to combat crime.
“We remember PD Waco today with fondness and gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice he gave in serving the Queensland community.”
PD Waco was with the one handler for his entire service with the pair receiving many accolades including an Assistant Commissioner’s Certificate for tracking and locating four offenders involved in an armed robbery in Caboolture in July 2015, a District Officer’s Certificate for tracking and locating three offenders in Kippa Ring in July 2011 that were involved in unlawful use of motor vehicle offences, and the Norm Watt trophy which is an annual QPS Dog Squad award for outstanding achievements within the general purpose dog handling capability.
PD Waco’s handler spoke fondly of his partner saying Waco was dearly missed by him and his family.
“Waco was my first police dog and we worked together as a team for seven years,” Waco’s handler said.
“He never hesitated to protect me and for that I will be forever grateful.”
PD Waco is the first working animal recognised as passing on duty since the establishment of the QPS Animal Memorial in December 2014.
PD Waco is commemorated with the placement of a stone etched with his details at the memorial.