November 04, 2019
The Johns Creek Police Department is extremely saddened to announce the death of retired K-9 Nico. K-9 Nico will be forever missed.
A letter from Officer Hodge about K-9 Nico:
K-9 Nico was a Czech German Shepherd, originally from the Czech Republic, who came to the United States, and the Johns Creek Police Department, via Jeff Franklin at Cobra Canine, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. K-9 Nico was two years old when he and I were partnered together, and we were inaugural members of the JCPD K-9 Unit.
K-9 Nico and I hit the streets of Johns Creek together in April of 2009, and worked with the B Squad Day Watch for the majority of our time together, before moving to the JCPD Traffic Unit in 2016. K-9 NICO was a dual purpose dog trained in multiple disciplines, he was an extremely high drive dog, and he loved to work, and excelled at tracking, and narcotics detection.
During his time in service, K-9 Nico was responsible for multiple criminal apprehensions, as well as multiple narcotics and large cash finds for the JCPD, as well as other jurisdictions which called for K-9 service. K-9 Nico was also responsible for successful tracks on missing persons, who had either wandered off or ran away by choice.
K-9 Nico’s first apprehension came on a deployment for the Alpharetta Police Department, where he successfully tracked and located a felony shoplifting suspect who had assaulted a store employee and then fled on foot and hid in a wooded area. That was a great moment for a first-time handler and his dog. From that very first deployment to his very last, K-9 Nico always maintained that drive, and I took great pride in his work and loved having him as my partner.
When not working, K-9 Nico was a member of the family and had his own space in my home. He was a great protector of the home, and my two sons, who often enjoyed playing with him. K-9 Nico had a great disposition, he was highly social and enjoyed human interaction, which made performing demos with him, especially at schools, very easy, and he made lots of children happy during his years of service. People were often surprised to see the loveable K-9 flip that switch and go into patrol mode when on command, he was just an awesome dog/partner.
In May of 2017, I had to make that decision to retire K-9 Nico from service, it wasn’t easy but I knew it was what was best for him. On June 1, 2017, K-9 Nico was officially retired. This was not an easy transition for Nico, especially when a new dog was thrown into the mix, as Nico never lost his drive or want to go to work with me every day. Sadly, Nico’s health began to deteriorate in retirement, some of which was attributed to the physical toll his working years had on his body.
In his latter days, K-9 Nico had arthritic hips and joints which severely hampered his mobility, and he was also diagnosed with kidney failure. Sadly the kidney failure progressed and caused additional issues, which led to K-9 Nico passing away during the evening of October 28, 2019. K-9 Nico passed peacefully in his sleep, he was 12 years old. He was the best first K-9 partner I ever could’ve asked for and he will be greatly missed.