Police dogs have one of the toughest and demanding jobs. Besides going through rigorous training to detect contraband, they are also trained to face and subdue potentially dangerous suspects. When the police think that a situation can put the lives of human officers at risk, they let their canine counterparts loose to help contain a dangerous situation.
The Jonesboro Police Department experienced this when they responded in a shooting incident that injured an apartment maintenance worker. Police Officer Erik Johnson worked as part of the K9 Unit and SWAT team. He handled a police dog named Gabo and was training on the day they got the call about the shooting.
When they arrived at the scene, their fellow police officers were trying to control the situation by trying to negotiate with the shooter. The suspect failed to respond to negotiations, and the tear gas that they shot inside the apartment unit was unable to contain the situation.
They were considering sending in the SWAT, but it was too risky. So, they called for Erik and Gabo to assist in subduing the shooter. Gabo was the only canine officer that had a bulletproof vest. This means that Gabo was the only canine officer that can do the dangerous job.
Officer Johnson’s heart sank when he learned that his best friend and partner for many years would be sent into a dangerous situation. He knew that there’s a chance that Gabo might get shot and may not survive the ordeal. Before he sent Gabo in the apartment unit, he told Gabo how sorry he is for what’s about to happen.
Officer Johnson’s fear was realized when Gabo was shot five times as soon as he entered the apartment unit. Fortunately, members of the SWAT team were able to take advantage of the situation and were able to gain control. The shooter was shot, and they were able to contain the situation.
Gabo was rushed to the nearest animal hospital, where he went through surgery. The vest that Gabo wore was effective, and none of the bullets that could’ve potentially taken his life penetrated the vest. Thankfully, Gabo made a full recovery, and his story touched the hearts of so many people all over the country.
Since the shooting incident happened, people started donating to the Jonesboro Police Department. The money was then used to get more bulletproof and knife proof vests for the rest of their canine officers. Police dogs work hard to keep us safe. They deserve the proper protection from the hazards that comes with the job of being a police dog. Here’s a video of Gabo’s courageous deed during the shooting incident.
Video Source Inside Edition via YouTube