Corporal Shane Williams and his partner Edo are working and training as a team. They are a well-oiled machine that works to find drugs and catch bad guys, but one year ago Shane had a different partner. K-9 Jardo was shot when gunfire rang out on the Boise Bench while police were looking for a wanted man. Corporal Chris Davis and Corporal Kevin Holtry were also injured in the shooting. Jardo was released from the vet after undergoing surgery but died days later. For Shane, Jardo's handler, the heartache is still too fresh for him to talk about it with the media.
"He lost one of his best friends," said Detective Joe Andreol of the Boise Police Department. Detective Andreol is also the president of the Fraternal Order of Police Treasure Valley Lodge #11. "He's gone through the normal healing process and his new dog, Edo does a fantastic job, and Shane does such great job training these dogs. I think he's healed in a way that Shane needed to heal and he continues to heal."
Many police officers including detective Joe Andreoli are making sure Jardo's sacrifice is not forgotten. The Fraternal Order of Police Treasure Valley Lodge #11 is raising money to build Idaho's first Police K-9 Memorial. By federal standards, space at the Idaho Peace Officer Memorial in Meridian is reserved for humans only.
"It was shocking to me I thought for sure that Idaho being as progressive as we are in law enforcement that there would have been a memorial somewhere," said Detective Andreol.
Joe hopes to add a separate K-9 memorial near the peace officers site and is in talks with the memorial's Board of Directors. Since the mid 90's three other K-9 officers have died in the line of duty along with Jardo. So far the Fraternal Order of Police Treasure Valley Lodge #11 has raised over $15,000 and have gotten discounted rates too, but still, need more donations. For Joe, having a place to remember these fallen K-9's is not a want, but a must.
"They're heroes just like the names on the wall," said Detective Andreol. "These dogs are our partners, they go through the training they become family members they become friends and they do pay the ultimate sacrifice."
You can donate to the memorial by visiting any Mountain West Bank. Just ask for the K-9 fund under the Fraternal Order of Police Treasure Valley Lodge #11.