APD K9 Retires Because of Health Issues
Arcata Police Patrol Service Canine, “Bronko,” retired after six years of dedicated service to the community. Bronko, K9 partner of Officer Greg Pope, retired at the end of May after experiencing health issues that made it no longer practical for him to serve. Bronko began his service to the City of Arcata in April 2009 and continued to May 23rd, 2015. Bronko was born in Gunzenhausen, Germany on March 30th, 2007 and imported to the United States by the Witmer-Tyson Kennels of Menlo Park in 2009. The funds to purchase Bronko were raised through generous donations made by community members and organizations. The fundraising was organized and coordinated by police volunteer Ginger Campbell.
Officer Pope and Bronko attended a month long patrol handler’s course in Newark, California, which culminated in them passing the Police Officers Standards in Training (POST) canine team evaluation test. The team was then re-certified annually to POST standards.
During Bronko’s time with the department, he and Officer Pope responded to numerous high risk incidents within the city and nearby areas. Some of the more memorable calls were when Officer Pope and Bronko located a sexual assault suspect hiding in the wood area near the Arcata Community center. On another occasion, Officer Pope and Bronko were called to assist the Eureka Police Department in searching for a domestic violence suspect that had fled from officers. Bronko located the suspect hiding in the bushes approximately a block from the scene of the incident. Officer Pope and Bronko responded to assist the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office in searching for a felony warrant suspect that fled from deputies in McKinleyville. Bronko located the suspect hiding under a house and his bark alert convinced the suspect to come out and surrender without incident.
Officer Pope and Bronko participated in the mutual aid request from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office by staffing two patrol shifts in the Petrolia area during the Shane Miller manhunt.
One of Bronko’s best talents was his performance during K9 demonstrations. Bronko has affection for children and he was always a popular guest at area schools. He also enjoyed stopping by dispatch and the police department’s front office to visit with the staff.
Bronko will be able to enjoy his retirement under the care of the Pope Family.