City of Arlington law enforcement officers gathered late last week to honor one of their fallen comrades. Four-legged K9, Mojo died in the line of duty when he was overcome by heat while searching for an aggravated assault suspect. The suspect had fled police on foot after a vehicle pursuit, but was later located and arrested.
This was just one of the many searches and felony apprehensions that Mojo, a Belgain Malinois, had been involved in while working with the Arlington Police Department since 2010.
Mojo was also a loyal companion and partner to his handler, Officer Vince Ramsour, who spoke at the 30-minute memorial last Friday along with Police Chief Will Johnson, Mayor Jeff Williams and Chaplain Harold Elliott.
Ramsour and Mojo had worked together for the past six years.
“We as a K9 Unit have been knocked down and so have I with the loss of my friend and partner Mojo,” Ramsour said. “But we as a unit we must get up, brush ourselves off and move forward.”
Attendance at Friday’s memorial, which was held at Heroes Park in West Arlington, included members of the Arlington Fire Department’s K9 unit as well as K9 units from Mansfield and Grand Prairie.
Heroes Park is a tribute to the City of Arlington’s Police and Fire Departments and honors those who have fallen in the line of duty. It was also a fitting place for Mojo to be laid to rest.
Steven Bartolotta, Media Relations Coordinator for the Arlington Police Department said Mojo is the first K9 that the city has lost in the line of duty.
Other cities have also found it fitting to honor working K9s and in the City of Cedar Hill the Cedar Hill Pet Memorial Park is not only a pet cemetery, but also features a War Dog Monument honoring working K9s.
Mario Porro, Chair of Cedar Hill Pet Memorial Park said “They [the cemetery and memorial] support each other in a symbiotic manner.”
While the primary focus of the Cedar Hill Pet Memorial Park is a cemetery for all pets, Porro said “The idea of adding a War Dog Monument was idealized by Nic Collins, one of our Founding Members and a former Air Force Member. He was aboard aircrafts that flew K9s and their handlers in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan and thought it would be a good way to highlight the Park.”
The War Dog Memorial was established in 2014 and the Statue " Enduring Valor" is the focal point of the Pet Memorial Park.
To date, only one K9- Gage is buried at the Cedar Hill Pet Memorial Park, he was retired from the Mansfield Police Department and was laid to rest in the Park when he died.
The Cedar Hill Pet Memorial Park also honors retired K9s with a grant called “The Shadow Fund” in which money goes to the handler of the retired K9 to help pay for the high cost of medical care that falls directly on the police and/or military handler.
The Shadow Fund was created this year and is in its second grant cycle. Applications from handlers requiring help with medical bills for retired K9s are actively being sought.