Huron police dog retires after 8 years of service

Huron Township police dog, named Chief by local school students in 2015, will retire after eight years of service in the community. It was decided now was the right time for retirement due to health related concerns. (Courtesy photo)

By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub

Posted March 23, 2023

Huron Township police dog, named Chief, will retire from the department after eight years of service.

Chief’s retirement was announced Wednesday during a board of trustees meeting.

Due to health concerns, it was decided that now was the right time for Chief to retire.

Chief joined the force in Huron Township in 2015 after the department held a contest in the Huron School District to name their first K9.

A fourth grade class at Brown Elementary won the contest after submitting the name, Chief.

Throughout his career in Huron, Chief received regular training from K9 Academy Training Facility in Taylor.

“When I became the other chief here in 2014, my first goal was to start a K9 Unit to serve our community. I will never forget the first time Sergeant Hickman and I met Chief at a training facility in Ohio, there was no doubt he was the perfect choice. We will miss having him around the station looking for treats. Huron Township is a safer place to live and work because of the efforts of our K9 Unit. Although it is hard to believe that it is time for him to retire, I am thankful that he will get the opportunity to go home and just be part of a loving family,” said Everette Robbins, Huron Township director of public safety.

Chief and his partner, Sgt. Kenneth Hickman, made hundreds of arrests, seizures, and school searches over their career working together.

Sgt. Kenneth Hickman and Chief (photo provided)

Robbins said one of their biggest accomplishments together was in 2016 when they were dispatched to a call of a young girl who had just attempted to take her life by cutting her wrists.

The girl fled into a wooded area prior to the arrival of first responders. Hickman and Chief quickly responded and were able to track and locate the girl in a wooded area and likely saved the girl’s life.

Hickman said he first met Chief when he traveled to Ohio to find the right dog for the job at a training facility.

He said he had an instant connection with Chief when he learned the dog’s original name.

“After I found out I was going to be Huron Township’s canine handler, the next step was to pick out the dog. I travelled to Ohio, curious as to how I was going to know which dog to pick. The trainer told me, ‘You will just know.’ One canine came out. He was bigger than the others and came out wagging his tail with so much energy. They told me his name was Benny. That was my grandfather’s name. I knew he was the one for Huron Township,” said Hickman.

“Canine Chief has devoted his career to not only protecting me and other officers, but also the community of Huron Township. He has assisted in seizing thousands of dollars and vehicles, taking illegal drugs off the street and tracking both suspects and individuals in crisis. He loved coming to work more than anything, and his commitment to the job was unmatched. He was dedicated to serving the community and never asked for anything in return (except for his Kong). We have been partners for eight years. The township and I will miss him being at work every day, but he will be cared for at home by my family with love and lots of treats,” Hickman said.

At Wednesday night’s meeting, the board officially transferred ownership of Chief to Sgt. Hickman. The board also agreed to pay for Chief’s future healthcare costs and food.

“I am so thankful for the decision of the board to take care of Chief as he moves into retirement. It was truly the right thing to do, and I am so proud of their decision. Chief has worked so hard for our community, and it has taken a toll on his medical well-being. The love that Sergeant Hickman has for him ensures that he will live a happy life for however long he has left,” Robbins said.

Robbins said currently the department is exploring their options on the future of the K9 division.

Photo gallery: Police dog Chief retires.




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