ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – A New Jersey couple is making a difference for the Roanoke City Police Department after a local K-9 officer died of cancer.
Tuesday, the department recognized Deanna and Caesar DePaço, Ph.D. for donating its newest member, Loki.
Loki takes the place of Mia, a K-9 who passed last October.
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His handler, Sergeant Mike Thompson, says a K-9 officer is truly a partner.
“Something that may calm the handler after seeing a certain scene is just your dog putting his paw on your shoulder while you’re sitting in a car, kind of one of those silent you’re going to be okay,” explained Sgt. Thompson.
“We understand the difficulties of creating a K-9 department or sustaining one and it’s a very, very large expense and not all police departments are able to cover that and we’re in the position that we can, so we have just decided to make that our mission,” Deanna DePaço said.
The DePaço’s have donated almost a dozen trained K-9s nationwide and will travel Wednesday to Harrisonburg for another donation to the police department there.