Marko remembered as true crimefighter

November 13, 2018

La PORTE – One of the La Porte County Sheriff’s longest-tenured K9s has passed away less than a year after retiring from the department.

Marko was certified in narcotics detection, tracking and apprehension, and during his service to the sheriff’s department, was successful in numerous felony apprehensions and tracking, as well as the discovery of large amounts of narcotics, Sheriff John Boyd said in a statement.

“Marko and K9 handler Dallas Smythe were the true definition of a team and could always be relied upon,” Boyd said. “Members of the sheriff’s office have many fond memories of Marko, and he will be greatly missed.”

Marko, a German shepherd born in November 2006, was acquired by the sheriff’s department in 2008, and was partnered with Deputy Smythe from April 2008 until his retirement on Dec. 31, 2017.

He retired after nearly 10 years of service, and upon retirement, “became a permanent member of his handler’s home and family,” Boyd said.

The dog, which was suffering from cancer, was 12 years old, according to the sheriff.

“There is no question that Marko prevented a number of potential injuries to our deputies by merely de-escalating a hostile suspect with his presence,” Boyd said. “In addition, on several occasions he placed himself in harm’s way in order to protect the deputies with whom he served. We will be forever grateful of his service.”

The sheriff’s department currently has a roster of four K9s and their handlers: Jager and Deputy Andrew Morse; Hokie and Deputy Andrew Hahn; Argo and Deputy Bobby Greer; and Bosco and Deputy Jonathon Samuelson.

Bosco, Hokie and Jager are certified in narcotics detection, apprehension and tracking; and Argo is certified in explosives detection, and apprehension and tracking.

—From staff reports

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