City council votes to allow fallen Calif. cop's family to keep K-9

Before his death, the officer was promoted. As a result, the K-9 was to be trained with a new handler, but he has stayed with the LEO's family

By Kevin Valine
The Modesto Bee

MODESTO, Calif. — Modesto officials decided Tuesday that Ike — a 3-year-old police dog — can retire and live out his days with the family of his former handler, Sgt. Mike Pershall, who was killed in August by a suspected drunken driver.

The City Council voted 7-0 to sell Ike to the Pershall family for $1.

Police Chief Galen Carroll asked the council essentially to give Ike to the Pershall family. He said in an interview last week that this might not be popular with everyone — Ike is 3 years old and most K9s work until they are 8 or sometimes even 10 — but it was the right thing to do.

“It is not a good deal for the Police Department to lose the dog,” Carroll said last week. “But there is also the human factor of, you have a wife and two kids who just lost their dad, and that’s the family dog. What is the right thing to do?”

Ike is a Belgian Malinois and cost the Police Department $9,137.

But Carroll said there has been an outpouring from community members who are willing to donate toward the department’s purchase of its next police dog. Carroll said he also will speak with the Modesto Police Canine Association, which paid for the department’s last police dog.

The Pershall family and Ike were not at the council meeting.

Pershall died Aug. 22 when he was struck by a suspected drunken driver while riding his bicycle while off duty in east Modesto. Pershall had been Ike’s handler for two years.

Two weeks before his death, Pershall was promoted to sergeant. As a result, Ike was to be trained with a new handler, but he has stayed with the Pershall family.

©2017 The Modesto Bee

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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