Photo credit: Indiana State Police
NEW ALBANY, Ind. -- Indiana State Police Trooper Nathan Abbott said his longtime partner made the ultimate sacrifice while in the line of duty at a standoff last month.
"Kilo saved my life and the lives of my friends that day," Abbott said, remarking on the events in Sellersburg that also resulted in Clark County Sheriff's Detective Chris Proctor receiving a bullet wound to his knee.
Kilo -- an ISP K-9 and the only service dog killed on the job since the agency's inception in 1932 -- was honored Monday at a service in New Albany. Kilo was fatally shot June 24 during a nearly 10-hour police standoff at a Sellersburg home.
Northside Christian Church in New Albany held the memorial service, which included nearly 40 other K-9 teams walking through the facility past Kilo's remains to pay a final tribute to the fearless dog.
Abbott was Kilo's only handler since the puppy became an ISP K-9 in 2007.
During the memorial, Abbott gave an emotional reading to his fellow troopers and other lawmen from an array of surrounding agencies. Abbott said Kilo had a tough demeanor and alpha-male mentality while on duty, but at the end of the work day he would curl up on the couch with the Abbott family.
After Abbott addressed those in attendance, he was called back to the lectern to receive Kilo's remains in a small urn. Abbott will also be given an encased American flag that was used to cover Kilo's body when it was carried out of the home where he was killed.
Following the ceremony, ISP Superintendent Douglas Carter said an ISP K-9 is a part of the law enforcement family and troopers are only now experiencing how to treat a K-9 killed in service.
"We have never dealt with the death of a K-9 in our agency before," Carter said. "Reality sets in very quickly when things like this happen, and this is not any different. Now we know what will happen if an event like this happens again."
Carter said it will be up to Abbott to decide if he will remain a K-9 trooper and be provided another four-legged partner.
Carter said the outpouring of support, seen by the crowd or mixed law enforcement uniforms, is a testament of the quality of people serving in law enforcement in the area.
"When one of hurts, we all hurt," Carter said. "That's why we are here."
Copyright 2013 - The Evening News and the Tribune, Jeffersonville, Ind.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service