By Danielle Coots
For Greene County News
BEAVERCREEK — Beavercreek Police Department’s favorite four-legged member retired from his nine years of service this month.
K9 DJ showed off his pride during the past city council meeting while being escorted by his handler, Officer Chris Williams to receive an accommodation from Beavercreek Mayor Bob Stone as a show of gratitude for his service.
“He’s one of the best ambassadors the police department could have,” said Stone.
DJ is an 11-year-old Belgian Malinois shepherd dog that was born on Dec. 23, 2005. He was partnered with Officer Williams in 2007 after the K9 program was activated under Chief Turner that same year.
During DJ’s career, he successful tracked burglar suspects, located and recovered evidence, searched hundreds of vehicles for drugs that resulted in the seizure of property, vehicles, weapons and narcotics. He also participated in school narcotic searches, assisted mutual aide operations throughout the Miami Valley, and tracked and found a missing Alzheimer’s patient.
“It’s been a great assignment for me with the city. DJ has dealt with not only the dangerous side of the police work, but also the friendly side with the community,” Officer Williams said.
DJ’s community work included visiting schools, daycares, nursing homes and he participated in community activities. “He was widely loved by all,” Mayor Stone said.
The program was originally funded by seized drug money that was appropriated to purchase the K9 vehicle, provide training and the purchase of DJ. Since then, DJ has been able to seize additional property, which contributed to his care. DJ has also received plenty of support from the community.
“I just want to thank the people in the community that help us along the way,” Officer Williams said. “We couldn’t have done it without the contributions from the community.”
Walmart, The Beavercreek Citizens’ Police, and the Beer Bar on Indian Ripple Rd. donated money to help continue this program. The school district donated funds that allowed DJ to obtain a bullet proof vest.
Currently, the Beavercreek Police Department is training a new K9 dog and is planning on welcoming him to the force and the community within the next couple of weeks.
“We wish DJ a happy and long retirement,” Mayor Stone said.
DJ will enjoy his retirement in the care of Officer Williams. He plans on spending his days chasing sticks and playing with his favorite, trusted ball-on-a-rope toy. He’ll be missed by all at the police department and the community.
Danielle Coots is a freelance writer with Greene County News.