The name of the Muldrow Police Department's K9 officer, Zeke, who died July 24, has been submitted to the Officer Down Memorial Page. Muldrow Police Chief George Lawson said Zeke's handler, Robert Allen, was involved in an investigation and had left the dog in his 2014 Tahoe with the air conditioning running. The air conditioner failed and when Allen returned to his unit he found Zeke dead.
"Robert is heartbroken," Lawson said. The pair had worked together eight months. Before that, Zeke's handler was Brad Roberts, who had worked with the dog for three years. "We are all heartbroken," Lawson said.
To avoid a conflict of interest, Lawson had the sheriff's office investigate the dog's death. Lawson said he received a letter from Investigator Charles House Tuesday. House found no fault on the part of the officer and the animal's death was due to the malfunctioning air conditioning unit in the vehicle.
"Zeke was a huge asset to this community," Lawson said. "He worked houses, schools. Roland doesn't have a K9 and would call us. If the sheriff's office needed him or even the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, he would go."
A statement released by the Muldrow Police Dept. stated, "It is with great sadness that we inform our residents of the passing of our K9 Zeke. Zeke was seven years old and worked for the MPD for over 4 years. Zeke assisted in over a hundred alerts over his career resulting in numerous drug arrests. Zeke passed as a result of heat stroke from a malfunctioning patrol unit. Thank you to the many individuals, businesses, and Cherokee Nation who assisted with donations in obtaining the funds to purchase him. Zeke will be missed and I ask for your thoughts and prayers for Brad Roberts and current handler Robert Allen who are missing their partner."
Lawson said the K9, who cost about $10,000, was paid for by donations from individuals and businesses. He stated it was too early to think about getting another one.
"We need to let the pain subside first," Lawson said.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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