The California "Faithful Partner"
Law Enforcement K-9 Memorial

The 2016 California "Faithful Partner"
Law Enforcement K-9 Memorial Ceremony
will be held at UC Davis on Wed October 19th
to honor the service of our brave and loyal K-9s.

 Faithful Partners that were honored at
the Oct 23, 2013 Memorial:
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Narcotics Bureau
Partner:  Deputy Brian McBride
End of Watch:  August 25, 2011 1600 hours

K-9 Max was single purpose narcotics detection canine serving the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Narcotics Bureau. On August 25, 2011 he died serving in the line of duty.  K-9 Max was deployed for a vehicle search at the site of a search warrant and died from accidental ingestion of liquid methamphetamine that was found at the scene.  Despite emergency first aid on scene, getting to the veterinary emergency room still able to walk, and valiant efforts by members of the VCA Animal Hospital in Cerritos CA, Max succumbed to the illicit drug.
K-9 Max died doing what he loved to do, "SUCH" (Find dope).
While K-9 Max had only served with LA Sheriff’s Department since December of 2010, he had an enormous impact on his department.  Max was the first Canine trained in the "Focus" method of detection through a joint effort between the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles Police Department.  K-9 Max and his handler Brian McBride completed over 800 hours of training together and completed over 275 searches.  He located an impressive amount of illegal drugs - including approximately a kilo of heroin, over 160 kilos of Cocaine, 16.5 kilos of Methamphetamine, 495 kilos of Marijuana, had a positive alert to well over one million dollars and cleared over $250,000.00 in U.S. currency.  While he was an intense and dedicated K-9 at work, Max was used in numerous public demonstrations and he loved to greet the community kids and have them pet him.
Max was born on May 5th, 2009 in Mexico City and came to join the L.A. Sheriff’s Department through Gold Coast K9 in Ventura Ca. K-9 Max and his handler hit it off from the beginning and a bond was immediately formed.  Deputy McBride said “It was as such an honor to have been Max's partner, I just wish I'd had time to earn the loyalty he so freely gave me.”
His final wish for K-9 Max is that he "RESTE" my friend "RESTE', you have earned your rest.”
Hawthorne Police Department
Partner:  Officer David Harris
End of Watch: November 29, 1989  2358 hours
K9 Urko, a very brave and strong-willed dog, was the faithful partner of Officer Dave Harris for nearly three years. They were members of the Hawthorne Police Department and had just completed an Advanced Handler Course in Long Beach just before K9 Urko was killed. Their master trainer said, "If I had to go into a dangerous alley, it is K9 Urko that I would want by my side."

Officer Harris recalled, “Urko always amazed me, finding suspects in areas I would have never looked.” One night they were dispatched to an alarm at the Mattel Toy factory and searched the 13-story building.  “As soon as I gave Urko the command to ‘seek,’ he immediately spun around and ran towards the security guard sitting by an exit.”  I redirected him, but Urko headed back to the security guard.  Knowing the suspect could not be the guard, I forced Urko into the elevator to search the rest of the building.  I recall how uninterested he was during that 1 hour 10 floor search.  
The moment we got off of the elevator, he immediately alerted and headed with a full head of steam towards the guard.  I reluctantly took Urko to the area of the guard.  Urko was doing everything he could to pull away from me.  As soon we got close, the guard was yelled out, “it was me, hold that dog!”
That moment crystallized the true meaning of “Trust Your Dog!”!

Officer Harris and K9 Urko were in pursuit of a suspect fleeing a robbery scene when K9 Urko was killed.  The suspect, driving his car at about 60 m.p.h., stuck him at an intersection, then went out of control and crashed.  K9 Urko was five at the time of his death.
Being a tough guy, the only family member that K9 Urko allowed to hug him was Officer Harris’ six year-old daughter, Marissa Rose.  When K9 Urko was killed, it was a devastating loss for Officer Harris & his young daughter as well as his family and fellow officers at the Hawthorne Police Department.

(Note: K9 Urko is being added to the monument this year because we were not aware of his death in the line of duty.  If you know of other law enforcement K-9s that have lost their lives in the line of duty, please send an email to A. Contreras -


During the Faithful Partner Memorial in 2011, K-9 Ike was one of the dogs added to the monument.  His story is here:
Palm Springs Police Department
Partner:  Officer Luciano Colantuono
End of Watch: April 17, 2011
On April 17, 2011, two Palm Springs Police Officers recognized a wanted parolee and tried to apprehend him, but he fled.  The officers caught up with the suspect and struggled to detain him, but he was able to break free.  At this point, Officer Luciano Colantuono released his K9 partner Ike on the suspect.  The suspect produced a handgun just as K-9 Ike attempted to apprehend him.  The suspect shot multiple rounds striking both Officer Colantuono and Ike.  The officers returned fire killing the suspect.  K-9 Ike died protecting his partner's life.

K-9 Ike, a male German Shepherd, joined the department in April 2009 and was a hard worker. Ike and his handler conducted 259 area searches, 92 building searches, responded to more than 300 burglary and robbery alarms, and apprehended, or assisted in the apprehension of 30 suspects.

Ike was the first K9 to die in the line of duty in the police department's history. He was honored at a well-attended local ceremony on May 3, 2011. Ike's loss was felt by every officer at the Palm Springs Police Department. Palm Springs police issued a statement calling K9 Ike "the ultimate friend, a loyal member of his handler's family and in the end – a lifesaver".

K-9 Ike from the Palm Springs Police Department was honored at the California "Faithful Partner" Law Enforcement K-9 Memorial at a ceremony on June 15th, 2011.

The California "Faithful Partner" Law Enforcement K-9 Memorial
was designed and donated by Bill Balaban
to honor the service of law enforcement canines who have worked in the State of California
and lost their lives serving in the line of duty.
The first dedication took place on October 6th, 2002 at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Center and subsequent dedications have taken place in 2009 and 2011.

Sculptor Susan Bahary designed "Faithful Partner",
the bronze German Shepherd Dog scupture that represents law enforcement canines
and stands on top of a polished black granite seven star base
in tribute to the service of our brave and loyal K-9s.
Please send any inquiries regarding the submission process for California K-9s lost in the line of duty to A Contreras c/o