February 25, 2013 update.
According to Ken Armstrong there is a happy beginning to Mongo’s next chapter, “Mongo did find a new home (on a farm in Oregon) and by all accounts is one happy camper!”
Officer Ian Durkee said that he and Axel are getting to know one another and will begin a new training course soon, “I am really impressed with Axel so far and am eager to get into training with him. We are working on getting into a K-9 academy being hosted by Redmond PD, but there is no set start date for that yet.”
February 19, 2013 article
At the February 12, 2013 City Council meeting Ken Armstrong, Mill Creek City Manager, announced that Mill Creek’s new K-9 program suffered a setback when the City’s K-9 team was pulled out of training.
Armstrong said that although Mill Creek Police Officer Ian Durkee performed very well in the Washington State Police Canine Association certified training course, his dog Mongo didn’t quite measure up, “The master handler and the trainer had rave reviews for Officer Durkee throughout the entire training period. Mongo did really well for the first couple of weeks, and then about the third week really hit a little slump and started showing some characteristics that a good K-9 wouldn’t have. By week four it was pretty evident that Mongo probably wouldn’t have the right characteristics for a K-9 dog.”
Armstrong said the City’s plan is to purchase a new police dog. Mongo was sold to the City for a nominal $1. A specially bred dog raised and trained to serve in a K-9 unit normally costs thousands of dollars.
Armstrong said that Roy Catz, owner of Catz Exotics upped his previous $2,000 donation to $10,000 when Police Chief Bob Crannell told him about the situation. According to Armstrong Catz wanted his donation to cover the entire cost of a new dog. At the December 4, 2012 City Council meeting Catz said he served as a K-9 police officer from 1979 to 1990 and wanted to give back to the City.
According to Armstrong, a police dog named Axel costing $9,000 has been identified to take Mongo’s place. He said this dog was bred and raised in Germany, “This particular dog that we are looking at is a three-year old dog… (he) has already had a certain amount of police training both in Germany as well as with the Vancouver BC police force.”
Armstrong is confident the new dog will be able to be certified in the required training course along with Officer Durkee.
Officer Durkee was recently named the 2012 Mill Creek Police Department Officer of the Year and has served as a Patrol Office, both an Acting Detective and an Acting Sargent. He is currently a Field Training Officer and is assigned as Mill Creek’s Public Information Officer.
During the October 9, 2013 City Council meeting Mill Creek Police Chief Bob Crannell said that although adding a police dog to his department has come up over the past few years it hasn’t been justified until now. He said that the need for a K-9 unit has increased to 62 calls in the last 14 months.
According to Crannell, Mill Creek depended on K-9 unit responses from the neighboring Cities of Everett, Lynnwood, Bothell, Edmonds, and Mountlake Terrace as well as the Snohomish County Sherriff’s department to handle these calls. He said there was often a response time delay and sometimes a K-9 unit was simply not available.
Crannell said police dogs provide a safer working environment for both police officers and the public. He said the Mill Creek K-9 unit would initially be trained for tracking, but not drug detection.