Hero Down: Columbia Police K9 Turbo Dies After Being Left In Hot Car

Columbia Police K9 Turbo died in the line of duty on July 28.

Columbia, SC Columbia Police K9 Turbo died in the line of duty of a "heat-related work injury" on July 28, two days after he was left alone in a patrol vehicle for eight hours while his handler attended a training.

I guess the simplest way for me to start is to acknowledge that we made some mistakes, Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said during a press conference on Aug. 23, The State reported.

The incident occurred on July 26, while Columbia Police Officer David Hurt was attending an active shooter training at C.A. Johnson High School.

Before he went into the training, Officer Hurt parked his patrol vehicle in the shade, opened the vehicles back windows, and turned the air conditioning on, Chief Holbrook explained.

Like other K9 handlers at the training, officer left his partner, K9 Turbo, in the vehicle due to the loud noises and crowds that would be present inside the school, WXIN reported.

For unknown reasons, Officer Hurt deactivated the vehicles heat alarm, which would have caused a horn and siren to go off and an on-person alarm to be activated if the vehicle reached a certain temperature, according to The State.

He didnt give any logical reason for why he deactivated the heat alarm, Holbrook said.

While other K9 handlers checked on their partners throughout the day, Officer Hurt did not, the chief said.

Officer Hurt did ask another officer to check on K9 Turbo at approximately 11:30 a.m., and the officer later reported back that the K9 was doing fine, The State reported.

According to WXIN, the temperature in Columbus reached 94 degrees Fahrenheit that day.

When Officer Hurt returned to his patrol vehicle at 3:30 p.m., he noticed that K9 Turbo was having difficultly standing and was panting heavily while foaming at the mouth, The State reported.

He immediately rushed K9 Turbo to a veterinarian, where he was diagnosed with organ failure.

Two days later, K9 Turbo was euthanized following the heat-related work injury, Chief Holbrook said.

In the wake of K9 Turbos death, Officer Hurt was suspended from the departments bomb squad for six months, and was removed as a K9 officer.

He was also suspended without pay for a period of five days.

Officer Hurt was very emotionally attached, Chief Holbrook said, according to The State. This is not something that just goes away. This is something hell live with.

He said that Officer Hurt and his family were heartbroken over the incident, WXIN reported.

Its like losing a partner or a family member, the chief said. It is devastating.

The investigation into K9 Turbos death was reviewed by the 5th Circuit solicitors office and the State Law Enforcement Division, the chief said.

The review concluded there was no criminal intent, and Officer Hurt will not face charges in connection with the K9s death.

Chief Holbrook said the department has implemented changes to help ensure the safety of K9s left in patrol vehicles in the future.

Handlers are now prohibited from deactivating vehicle heat alarms, and must check on their K9 partners every hour. The department is also creating a standardized temperature for the heat alarms in each K9 vehicle, he said.

K9 Turbo, a 2-year-old Labrador Retriever, specialized in explosive detection.

He served with the Columbus Police Department for seven months, and cost the agency approximately $25,000, Chief Holbrook said.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Columbia Police Department in the loss of K9 Turbo.

Comments (29)
No. 1-26
Antonia1928
Antonia1928

This Officer's loss is not only tragic but despicable and totally senseless. Officer Turbo should have been checked on every several hours. I am a dog lover but have genuine respect for K9's. His trainer should be held responsible for Turbo's death. The story is a bunch of excuses and fluff. For shame.

angeleyes
angeleyes

this is ridiculous. The "officer" should be charged the same as if a thug had killed the K9. What is wrong with the k9 partners that do this. way too many k9s are being killed this way. Why on earth did he turn off the heat sensor? I hope he never is a k9 handler ever again. The poor K9 being killed by his so called partner. hes so sad. So what. He killed him and should be charged damn it. At the very least suspended and never allowed to have a K9 partner. I'm so mad about this kind of thing happening too much. Charge him. LEOs are called to break a window to save a dog or child locked in a car, and their owner/parents are charged, but not an LEO doing the same thing, not being charged.

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

Other handlers checked on their dogs but he never did?? And he deactivated the heat alarm for no reason??? Bull crap!!! That poor dog suffered!! He should never get another K9 and pay a fine for his callous behavior!!

DWT
DWT

Why did this knucklehead even bring his dog if he was in training all day. Charge him! Then fire him!

nenasmiller
nenasmiller

That poor pup baked to death. It makes me sick. And I agree with DWT on the question of WHY these officers would have the dogs at a session that lasted hours just to sit in the cars...very poorly thought out plan.

Dfc3166
Dfc3166

I don't even know this officer but there is no excuse for this, none! I retired from law enforcement but there is no sticking up for this guy, would not want him as a partner, no way, no how. You don't check on your partner, while other officers check on theirs. You have someone else check on him for you. What the hell is that? You feel sorry for it happening, that's BS! I don't care about your feelings, or how you feel now. You should never have been chosen as a K9 handler, these officers care about their partner and are real animal people. You should be fired, and held responsible for all the expenses that went with this K9. And, even at that, it wouldn't cover what that officer went through. What the F were you thinking all day when the other officers were checking on their partners. That alone shows you haven't the smarts to stay in this profession.

FuzzBall44
FuzzBall44

We made some mistakes. Really?? A mistake is leaving your phone at home or misplacing your keys! Poaching a live dog is irresponsible and unconscionable!! No excuse!

Doralguy
Doralguy

How irresponsable can that officer Hurt be, leave the dog in the car, never checked on him while other officers did on their dogs. If he can't be trusted with taking care of his partner how can he be trusted with the people he serves. And he gets suspended 5 days? Is that all?

Righton17
Righton17

I quote: "Officer Hurt was very emotionally attached, Chief Holbrook said, according to The State. This is not something that just goes away. This is something hell live with." Well at least he gets to live, while Turbo doesn't. He should be fired.

hatman7663
hatman7663

He should be charged with a crime, as anyone else would be if they were responsible for this K9's death. Negligent homicide of a police officer - let this irresponsible LEO have his day in court. Should never be allowed to wear a badge again, much less handle a K9.

Officer Cynical
Officer Cynical

I'm a retired cop. This is inexcusable. Be as sorry as you want to be, but you're alive and your partner - who depended on you for everything - is dead. You get to eat, sleep, and breathe that.

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

Extreme;y irresponsible of this handler. He should be required to pay for the cost/training of another canine and NEVER be allowed to posses a dog in his private life. To even leave a dog or kid in the car in the summer is STUPID. He should also be fired........he doesn't have a brain.

LaneysSis
LaneysSis

"We made some mistakes?" are you serious! Suspend that officer for more than 5 damn days and the next time he goes after someone who left their child in a car, in the heat, I hope he remembers what he did !! LE wants harsher penalties for criminals who injure and murder K9 Officers, right? So what is the difference if it is the LEO fault?

Chief Deputy
Chief Deputy

Where I worked, if the handler is scheduled for a lengthy training, the K9 stayed home to avoid this situation. R.I.P. Officer Turbo.

Badge204
Badge204

Chief, there is no excuse! This officer killed his partner! Dismissal of the officer. Also complete payment from his salary for all treatment and replacement of the K9. Mistakes is what you as a Chief needs to correct and elimate. These MISTAKES is what making police work look very bad in your citizens eyes. They are looking to you TO LEAD, Not to make EXCUSES

Livid
Livid

Police Officer David Hurt murdered his partner and got suspended for 5 days. SERIOUSLY!!?? K9 Turbo suffered horribly for hours before being put down because his partner is a lazy negligent disgrace to ANY POLICE FORCE!

ESK
ESK

He KILLED his partner! Officer Hurt should be required to reimburse the state for training cost for K9 Turbo and his replacement. Five days without pay-are you kidding me? He needs to spend time in jail! He should never be allowed to ever own a pet and if he has children.... Chief Holbrook should also get a wake up call! This isn't a "mistake", it is MURDER. There is no excuse for this. K9 Turbo dedicated his life and got locked in a car. R.I.P. Young Turbo. You left us too soon. Bless you.

ESK
ESK

AND, why did it take a month to get this story?

K9smatter
K9smatter

AND....The officer sent to "check" on the K9 was actually sent to retrieve the handler's lunch, not solely to "check" on the K9! 😡

61mouse
61mouse

Asshole

Mitzer
Mitzer

I'm sorry, but I have to agree. This bad cop murdered his good and faithful partner. Why, knowing it was going to be hot AND knowing the effects of that heat in a car even with back windows down, would anyone who loves his k9 turn off a sensor that would keep him safe. The other k9's didn't and imagine that, their dogs aren't dead. MURDERER!I think he should be left in a car for eight hours and see how he likes it!

12 alice
12 alice

😭🙏🐾🐶😢👮his death will save lives because awareness is key. I will no longer leave my dog in the car with the windows open after reading this story.

joaquinradioman
joaquinradioman

If he cared for his dog, why the hell did he deactivate the heat alarm and not go on his own to check on the dog....There's something very wrong here!!!!

Shyanne
Shyanne

How could he not check on his partner, I mean what about giving his partner some water?

theresacook23
theresacook23

No one is going to like what I say,but here goes.My heart is broken for both handler and k9. The loss of a pet is loseing a member of the family.Accidents do happen some where along the way.This officer has to live with this the rest of his life.I could only emagin what is going to be like.I can tell you now calling him a murderer is not going to bring the k9 back.He is now in heaven with friends and family of the Blue .He's carring his wings on his back so he can fly high and run free.I'm sure he has for giving his handler for such a horrible mistake.I say pray for them all and don't degrade anyone else.God Bless you all and please try to understand were in coming from before you react to my comment.

AlexF
AlexF

Gross negligence. That dog shouldn't have been there. Eight hours of training where the dog wasn't going to participate is a really good reason not to bring him along. That is not just "some mistake". Poor dog. Just being obedient and waiting. For nothing. Left to die, that what he did. Left the dog to die. Put him in a car for 9 hours and see how he likes it. It is disgusting.