ELKHART – Tuesday was the official retirement day for one of the unsung heroes within the Elkhart Police department.
The Board of Safety recognized the 7 years of service an officer has given to the city as he retires for health reasons.
A gold watch doesn't interest this cop, but a good game of "fetch" might!
In this case, the recent retiree is Neko, who is 9-years-old and has been a member of the Elkhart K-9 unit for seven years.
During that time, he worked with his handler, Sergeant Jack Oldroyd, who has gotten to know Neko quite well.
“He definitely has his own personality,” said Oldroyd. “I believe all of our canines here have their own personality. So at the end of it, they form their own, and he has given me the best that he can.”
And like any partner, in any line of work, it took a while for them to mesh. Neko maybe being a little headstrong at times.
“We have had our moments,” Oldroyd reflected. “He has challenged me. I spend more time with him than I do anybody in my family, so we definitely get to know one another, and I know what he’s thinking, and I am sure he knows what I am thinking.”
Now, Neko has had his share of average days, but somewhere a little bit more involved than others, he worked patrols on various assignments, worked narcotics detection, assisted in the apprehension of over 80 suspects, 15 pounds of drugs and the seizure of $15,000 while on the job
“I wish I could get into his head sometimes and wonder what they are thinking,” said Oldroyd. “I think he has got some things to say every now and then, and it would be nice to know that.”
Neko now becomes one of Oldroyd's family pets, even though Neko still wants to go to work.