After seven years of service, the Beloit Police Department says goodbye to a very faithful employee.
'Nick' isn't your typical cop. He has four legs, and has a tendency to drool. If you haven't guessed it, Nick is an eight year old Belgian Malinois dog.
Nick also searched buildings, smelled out drugs, and tracked down suspects in his short career. But in dog years, it's about half a lifetime.
Nick began his job with Beloit Police in September 2006. Since then, he has spent every hour of almost every day working and living with his handler, Officer Brian Daugherty.
Daugherty says Nick has kept him safe on several occasions. He remembers a day when they responded to a burglary in progress: "There was another suspect that I didn't know was in the house about 6 inches in front of my face, so I don't know what his plans were but Nick was able to take him to the ground without me being struck or touched or anything by the suspect."
Now eight years old, Nick is beginning to show signs of his age, with a few gray hairs on his face.
"It's not an easy life for the dogs. They work hard," says Daugherty.
The department decided it was time for Nick to hang up his collar. Officer Daugherty says it will take some getting used to. "The daily ride though is a lot more quiet now I don't have my buddy to talk to."
Nick will spend the rest of his days living the life of a house pet. "He was my protector at work and now he's my family's protector at home," says Daugherty.
But retirement has its perks. "I never gave him people food before, and now if he gets a french fry here and there, he's pretty much ok with that."
Nick was the Beloit Police Department's only police dog. The Rock County Sheriff's office and the Janesville Police Department have offered their K-9 units to Beloit if they ever need the help.
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