COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Cobb County Police are investigating after a K9 officer was found dead in the back of a patrol car while officers were participating in a training exercise Monday.
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According to police, the incident happened just after 2 p.m. at Allatoona High School at 3300 Dallas Acworth Highway. Officers were at the school for a scheduled active shooter training when K9 Chase was found unresponsive in the patrol car by K9 Officer Neill.
Life-saving efforts were started immediately by Neill and other Cobb officers and firefighters. K9 Chase was transported to a local veterinarian clinic where he died from heat-related injuries.
Police told Channel 2 Action News they had been at the training since 11 a.m. and were checking on the K9 partners on the hour for 15-minute breaks between each 45-minute training session. After a previous check, it is believed that the air conditioning system malfunctioned in Officer Neill’s patrol car. Preliminary investigation also revealed that other safety systems did not activate and the temperature quickly rose in the car.
“They worked on Chase for hours trying to get him to resuscitate,” Officer Aaron Wilson said. “Their dog is like a child to them you know? To lose part of their family is how they’re feeling right now.”
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K9 Chase was a Belgian malinois born in Hungary on August 13, 2018. He began his career with the Cobb County Police Department in April 2020 with his handler K9 Officer Neill.
Chase was a dual-purpose K9 trained for narcotics detection, criminal apprehension, tracking, building searches, and evidence recovery. K9 Chase seized thousands of dollars worth of illegal narcotics and helped with numerous arrests.
Chase was named after fallen Locust Grove Police Officer Chase Maddox, who died in the line of duty on February 9, 2018, just days before K9 Chase was born.
“This is a horrible incident and our investigators are continuing to gather information regarding the vehicle system failures that led to this tragedy,” Officials with Cobb County Police said. “K9 Chase was a beloved officer of the Cobb County Police Department and will forever be missed by us all.”
It is important to note, the Cobb County Police Department is not launching a criminal investigation, instead, they are launching an investigation to look into what led up to K9 Chase’s death and why the air conditioner malfunctioned.
K9 Chase is currently at Cobb County Animal Shelter and will be transported to the University of Georgia for a necropsy later Tuesday.
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