NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk Police Department is mourning the loss of one of their retired K-9 officers.
Tiko, a Belgian Malinois, died Feb. 20. He was around 14-years-old. Tiko spent five years with the Norfolk Police Department and retired in 2010.
His handler, Officer Shawn Jacobs, posted this tribute to his former partner:
K9 Tiko has passed
It is with great sadness that my retired Norfolk K9 dog “Tiko” has passed away. Tiko had been a part of my life for 11 years. In 2005, my first few weeks in the Norfolk K9 Department had me wondering what I had gotten myself into. I was testing two shepherds that were not meeting standards. By this time I was not feeling so good about my decision. One day my master trainer instructed me to get the Mali from the back. I asked “What is a Mali?” My master trainer said, “Belgian Malinois, you can’t miss him. His name is Tiko.” I grabbed my leash and headed off. It’s probably a good thing my master trainer just acquired Tiko from an organization who was more than happy to part ways with Tiko, due to the fact he had sent a handful of trainers to the ER. The master trainer was right. I could not miss him. In the kennel was a 65lb little deer looking dog with a black mask. He showed no kennel guard and was wagging his tail with his ears sitting high out. I was thinking that after two shepherds I was now stuck with this little dog. What can he possibly do? I put a leash on Tiko and ran him to the training lot. The master trainer instructed the decoy to show himself from the blind and Tiko engaged him like a ton of bricks! His ears laid back and he stuck a full mouth on the decoy like I had never seen a dog do before. My eyes got huge and I thought so that’s a Belgian Malinois. I know right then he was the dog for me. The master trainer then informed me of Tiko’s fondness for giving his handlers time off of work. I said, “I’m good with it. I want him.”
From 2005-2010, Tiko made several felony apprehensions, tracked and located wanted subjects. He even pulled a fellow K9 officer behind cover when we found ourselves in harm’s way. Early one morning a fellow officer was shot at by a suspect. The officer returned fire, stopping the threat. The suspect threw his gun, and Tiko was able to locate it with ease. Tiko covered me from threats I was not even aware of and of course exercise balls and basketballs were not safe when he found them lying around. If Tiko was called to a place that had a pool, he would clear the pool last by going in for a swim. Tiko would often have me in my supervisor’s office, like the time I had to explain how he destroyed the passenger’s seat of a brand-new K9 car. If you’re wondering, Tiko gave me a few days off also… we called it a misunderstanding. It was not all hunting bad guys, my son and daughter reminded me that Tiko did demos for their elementary school every year. In 2010, Tiko retired and instead of looking for bad guys, he made sure the back yard was clear of things like the grill cover, pool toys, anything that he thought would bring harm to my family. Tiko has gotten me through some of the most difficult times and was always there to make sure I was safe. It’s time for you to go now buddy on to your final roll call with your fellow K9’s who have gone before you and who you had the honor of working with: Argo, Renzo, Bono, Rocky, Roc, Rock, Apache, Shadow, Blitz, Chico, Gage, Cesar, Panzer, Charas, Brix, Thor, Taz, Ollie, Falco, Stiker, Saint and Pre. Thank you for always protecting me from harm and being the best partner. You will forever be missed.