K-9 Baco credited with probably saving officer’s life

In the 20 months since the Salem Police Foundation received a grant to allow Salem Police to acquire a replacement police dog, three-year-old K-9 “Baco” has become an integral part of the police department and the K-9 unit. His contributions were never more obvious than they were on the night of May 9, 2014. That’s when he probably saved Officer Trevor Morrison’s life.

Salem Police acquired Baco in 2013 with funds from the Karen M. Schroth Charitable Foundation for Animals. Baco trained with Officer Morrison in Riverside, California, for five weeks, and he was certified for duty by the Oregon Police Canine Association on May 28, 2013. On his very first shift he was deployed by Officer Morrison to help track and stop three youths who had been breaking into cars late that night. Baco found two of the youths by himself, and he and a second K-9 found the third.

He was three-for-three on his first real test, Officer Morrison said, showing how “very good he is at what he does.”

Earlier this year Officer Morrison stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. When the female occupant suddenly bolted and ran from the vehicle, Officer Morrison released Baco, after first warning the driver that the dog would be released. The woman was armed with a handgun. Baco was able to catch and knock the woman to the ground. Baco’s intervention likely saved the life of Officer Morrison.

In his first 14 months of service with Officer Morrison, Baco has been deployed 84 times, has physically restrained suspects eight times and has captured 45 suspects on a total of more than 55 criminal charges. “As young as he is,” Morrison said, “I look forward to what he can do in the next two or three years down the road.”

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