K9 Handler John Parker & K9 Drago
K9 Drago joined the Fitchburg Police Department in 2017. K9 Drago is a Belgian Malinois who was born in the Netherlands in December of 2014. Drago's handler, Officer John Parker, trained with Drago for six weeks at Shallow Creek Kennels in Pennsylvania before starting on the road in Fitchburg.
K9 Drago is a dual-purpose patrol dog trained to detect the odor of narcotics but one of his favorite roles is connecting with members of the community, especially children. Check out the graphic below to learn more about the capabilities of K9 Drago.
Officer Parker and K9 Drago have received three awards from the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Canine Handler's Association, "Rookie Handler of the Year", "Meritorious Narcotics Find of the Year", and "Meritorious Apprehension of the Year".
K9 Drago's presence in Fitchburg would not have been possible without the generous support of the community. Thanks to donations big and small, over $37,000 was raised to purchase Drago and fund training and equipment for the team.
Veterinary care for Drago is graciously provided by the team at Fitchburg Veterinary Hospital and boarding and grooming services are provided by Waggin' Tails Doggie Dude Ranch in Fitchburg.
Protecting the Community and Police Officers
K9 Drago is a talented dog trained in a variety of tasks that are beneficial to the community and the police department.
A Special Connection
While K9 Drago relishes the opportunity to connect with all members of his pack, both young and old, he will forever cherish his connection with Emma Mertens. Emma was an 8-year-old girl from Hartland, WI, who was diagnosed with a DIPG Brain Tumor in early 2019. She fought to live her life to the fullest every day up until the night she passed away on November 17th, 2019.
Emma loved animals and police K9s. Drago and Emma first met in March of 2019 and became fast friends. Today, Emma's legacy lives on through Emma Loves Dogs, a foundation to support organizations that have the same passion for animals that Emma did.
K9 Chase - In MemoriamOn January 15, 2016, K9 Chase retired from active duty after nearly eight years of service to the City of Fitchburg Police Department. Chase passed away March 5, 2017.
Over the course of his career, K9 Chase was responsible for numerous seizures of narcotics and firearms and also assisted in locating lost citizens and wanted suspects. Often, his mere presence ensured officers were kept safe and helped de-escalate dangerous situations.
Most importantly though, Chase served as an unofficial ambassador for the department, bringing smiles to those young and old.
Chase will always be remembered for his devotion to his partner, Officer Lopez, the police department and the City of Fitchburg.