By RANDI ROSSMANN
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Petaluma’s acclaimed police dog, Roy, died last weekend, leaving a legacy of city service and a reputation as an award-winning law enforcement canine.
The 14-year-old Belgian Malinois “retired” from service in January 2007 after eight years and continued living with his handler, Officer Paul Accornero.
PETALUMA POLICE DEPARTMENT
Petaluma’s acclaimed police dog, Roy, died last weekend.
The death has been a blow to officers, said Sgt. Mark Hunter, who supervises the department’s two dog teams.
“It’s a part of your family and it’s a co-worker,” Hunter said. “It’s a great loss for us all.”
The police department bought Roy in spring 1999 and Accornero trained him for narcotics work, patrol duty and countless good-will sessions at schools and community gatherings.
Roy was a friendly police ambassador but also a serious tracker of lost people, hiding suspects and stashed narcotics. Officers appreciated the extra protection he offered.
Hunter said Roy helped arrest more than 120 suspects and seize more than $313,000 in illegal drugs and $155,000 in drug money.
Roy also built an impressive reputation in police dog competitions. He earned 103 awards over the years, including several “Top Dog” awards at California competitions. He and Accornero won gold medals in the 2001 World Police and Fire Games in Indiana, the 2001 California Police Summer Games and the 2004 California Police Summer Games, Hunter said.
In his final year working for the department, Roy won the “Top Dog” award in the narcotics division in the 2006 trial season competition for the Western States Police Canine Association.
“He was not just known on a local level. He was very well known throughout the (law enforcement) canine community,” Hunter said.
Petaluma currently has two police dogs, Rico and Kilo. They are two of about 20 police dogs working in Sonoma County.
Article found here: The Press Democrat