Gresham police mourn death of veteran K9 officer Basco
Gresham police are mourning the death of a very good boy: veteran K9 officer Basco.
The half Belgian malinois, half German shepherd had been experiencing a rapidly progressing illness, and the 11-year-old dog died Monday night, Sept. 27, while on patrol with his partner Officer Shawn Debler. The pair had been working side-by-side for nearly 10 years.
"He was an amazing partner and exceptional canine," said Debler, a K9 handler for the department. "I am thankful for all the work we did together to keep our community safe and I'll miss him greatly."
Basco joined the department in 2012 when he was a year old, and was the veteran of the K9 division. He is credited with 300 apprehensions of suspected criminals.
A year into his service, Basco was attacked and badly injured while on the job. He had tracked a criminal, and was attempting to subdue the target, when the man began to beat Basco with a stick. It wasn't until officers arrived a few moments later that they were able to stop the attack.
"Seeing your dog get hurt or sick is one of the worst feelings you can imagine," Debler told the Outlook. "I spend more time with my dog than my family. You find yourself talking to them in the car."
Basco would recover from that attack and continue his successful decade-long career.
While primarily providing K9 services for patrol calls, Basco was also integrated with the East Metro SWAT team, and used in numerous high-risk situations. He was also cross-trained for narcotics detection.
Gresham has worked with and trained dogs since 1983.
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