After serving 47 years on the force, a veteran police officer is being honored this week during a retirement ceremony at La Vergne City Hall.
Of course when you translate those dog years to human years, that is 8 ½ years of service by Kash, the four-legged K-9 hero.
“Like our human police officers, Kash has served with honor and valor,” La Vergne Mayor Senna Mosley said. “His life was on the line to protect and serve, so he deserves our gratitude upon his retirement.”
Ten-year-old Kash, a native of the Czech Republic, came to La Vergne after months of intensive training in Michigan. He is highly educated by dog world standards; he understands commands in four languages: English, Czech, sign/hand signals, and whistles.
Kash has earned his honorable retirement. During his police career, his largest narcotics bust was for 3 kilos of cocaine and the biggest marijuana find was 7 pounds. In addition to sniffing out illegal narcotics, another specialty was tracking suspects, particularly domestic violence perpetrators. Kash has also worked with the FBI and DEA Drug Task Force sniffing vehicles.
Perhaps his most important distinction, however, is the fact that he never bit a civilian.
“Canine partners have to shout out warnings before releasing their dogs," Handler Konrad Kaul said. "Suspects would see Kash and give up. We had a 100 percent rate of compliance when criminals saw Kash.”
Kaul, who accepted a position as detective with the LaVergne Police Department last month, is possibly the only one who has been bitten by the K-9 without the benefit of safety equipment. When the police dog is at work, the excitement to search for a subject has been so great that Kash has nibbled at Kaul to release him.
However, the only ones to fear a nip from Kash will now be a herd of goats at Kaul’s farm, where the dog is retiring. He is receiving special training to herd goats in order to remain physically and mentally active, something important for retired K-9s.
Kash turns 10 years old on Christmas Day, or 53 in human years.
The retirement ceremony will take place at City Hall at 6:50 p.m. Tuesday and will be officiated by Mosley and Police Chief Mike Walker. The event is open to the public.