Batavia, OH – Batavia Police Department K9 Kraft died on June 18, when he escaped from his handler’s yard and was hit by a vehicle, according to the police chief.
K9 Kraft, a 4-year-old German Shepherd, joined the Batavia Police Department on Feb 12, 2015, The Clermont Sun reported at the time.
His handler, Officer Chris McMillan, was instrumental in assisting the department with bringing K9 Kraft onto the force – even before he knew Chief Michael Gardner planned on assigning the two as partners.
The duo began training in December of 2014, and became certified the following February, Chief Gardner said.
“I don’t think we could have asked for a better dog than what we got,” the chief told The Clermont Sun.
K9 Kraft was trained in both drug detection and police patrol, and was the agency’s first and only K9.
“The Batavia Police Department lost a fellow officer today,” Chief Gardner wrote in a June 18 Facebook post. “Kraft was our first K-9 and did a one hell of a job, I don't think we will ever be lucky enough to have such a great K-9 as him.”
“As the Chief I express my deepest sympathy to Ofc. McMillan and his family as well to all of Kraft's brothers and sisters in blue,” he continued. “Kraft you will be missed and your service to Batavia Police Department was greatly appreciated.”
“Go and play ball in heaven my buddy,” the chief said.
K9 Kraft also played a role in assisting the local school district, Superintendent Keith Millard said in a statement to WLWT.
"The Batavia Local School District is saddened by the sudden loss of Kraft,” Millard said. “Kraft played a key role in the District’s safety and security plan and also was a valued member of the police department in keeping our entire community safe.”
“Our thoughts are certainly with Kraft’s handler, his family, and the entire force during this difficult time,” he said.
On June 23, the department gathered with members of the community to hold a memorial service for K9 Kraft.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Batavia Police Department and Officer Chris McMillan in the loss of K9 Kraft.