Hero Down: Massachusetts State Police K9 Chico Dies Unexpectedly
Boston, MA – Massachusetts State Police (MSP) K9 Chico died unexpectedly on Sept. 6, according to his department.
“It is with a heavy heart that we share the sad news that Massachusetts State Police Explosive K9 ‘Chico,’ the beloved German Shepherd partner of [MSP] Trooper Rob Gallant and a cherished member of the Gallant family, passed away suddenly on September 6 at the age of 10 years, 9 months,” the MSP said in a Facebook post on Friday.
K9 Chico was born in Germany on Dec. 9, 2018, and spent much of the first three years of his life at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
He began serving at Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts as a member of the MSP’s Canine Explosive Detection Unit at the age of three.
K9 Chico was four years old when he and Trooper Gallant began working together, according to the department.
The duo worked the midnight shift, and were responsible for checking the U.S. Postal Service mail each night to make sure it contained nothing hazardous.
They also responded to calls for suspicious or unattended bags, and “worked tirelessly to protect everyday passengers and dignitaries alike,” the MSP said.
In addition to their work at the airport, K9 Chico and Trooper Gallant also helped to protect civilians against explosive threats at “large-scale events,” including New England Patriots games at Gillette Stadium, the city’s annual 4th of July celebrations, and the Boston Marathon.
“Chico had a wonderful personality and a youthful face, exuberance for life, and sparkle in his eyes that never failed to get the attention of Logan travelers, who would often ask if he was a puppy even when some grey fur on his muzzle would indicate otherwise,” the MSP said.
“Along with his bright personality, Chico clearly had a great nose -- all the makings of the perfect explosives detection canine,” the agency noted. “Chico was forever young at heart.”
When he was off duty, K9 Chico enjoyed spending time with Trooper Gallant’s family, including retired MSP K9 Barry.
“The two German Shepherds showed respect to one another and both had incredible love for and loyalty for their handler,” the agency said.
“While the term ‘good boy’ is often used to describe our canine companions, working and otherwise, Chico was the epitome of a ‘good boy’ and his presence will be terribly missed by Trooper Gallant, the entire Gallant family, the Massachusetts State Police family, and the K9 Law Enforcement community,” the MSP concluded. “Free time now Chico, for always. You have earned it, good boy.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Massachusetts State Police and Trooper Gallant in the loss of K9 Chico.