COMANCHE — When K9 officer Wako joined the Comanche Police department with handler Brad Jenkins they had a lot to learn from each other but after four years with the department they have learned more than Jenkins could have imagined.
The small crowd — with surprise guests “Ironman” and “Spiderman” aka Jenkins’ twin boys — got to say a formal goodbye to both officers, as the K9 officer was medically retired in June of this year.
Police Chief Bill Straily said they had been trying to get this done since then.
“We’ve been trying to get this together for a while so we can present this,” he said. “I did order a basket of treats for tonight but they didn’t show up. We’ll get them to you as soon as they get here.”
Wako served from 2016 to 2019.
“It was a medical retirement, he has lupus and Brad noticed he was slowing down,” Straily said. “Wako is about 7 years old and he was getting close to retirement age, and the illness sped that up a bit. Quicker than I wanted it too. I know since Wako’s left us it’s been a big loss, he found a lot of narcotics on the streets of Comanche and we’re going to miss him.”
Jenkins said he had worked with dogs before but none like Wako.
“Before I became a police officer, I worked at the humane society for a number of years and I met all kinds of dogs, all different breeds and all different types — this was my first encounter with a Belgian Malinois. They are a whole different level of dog,” he said. “You a take the most high energy, high strung dog you’ve ever met, multiply it by five and that’s him. He’s very, very active, he is incredibly intelligent — he’s definitely an Einstein of dogs.”
It was Wako’s drive that made him a great partner.
“If we were driving around for eight hours a day he was on his feet in that kennel, looking back and forth, barking,” Jenkins said. “If we were moving he was moving. For the first month I had him, I never actually physically saw him lay down!”
Jenkins said working together made him better.
“He taught me a lot — he helped me become better at my job, just having him back there,” he said. “Using him taught me a lot more body language, what to look for and the more he helped me get the better I figured it out. We started working better as a team after that first year.”
Having Wako as a partner was easy for Jenkins.
“He helped me as much as I helped him, I fed him and he taught me how to be a better police officer,” he said. “All he asked for was an infinite amount of love and treats — and we went through all the tennis balls.”
Jenkins also resigned from the Comanche Police Department.