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K9 Unit heroes honored at Sacramento City Hall

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Bodie isn’t your average, gun-toting, badge-wearing police officer – he doesn’t carry a gun at all – he’s a member of Sacramento Police Department’s canine team and he and his partner, Officer Randy Van Dusen, were honored at City Council Tuesday for their heroism and service to the city.

“The public support of K9 Officer Bodie has been tremendous, and I am proud to be a part of recognizing his bravery,” City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby said Tuesday.

Ashby presented Bodie, Van Dusen and Officer Adam Cunningham with a ceremonial resolution commending them for heroic actions and service to the city.

Bodie made headlines in May when he shot in the line of duty while in pursuit of a robbery suspect in Land Park. The incident occurred near Crocker-Riverside elementary school in the neighborhood and Bodie is credited with preventing the suspect from entering the school grounds, according to a press release.

Bullets ripped through Bodie’s jaw and right front paw, and he lost a lot of blood before his handler, Van Dusen, could get him to a veterinary hospital for treatment.

The shooter was shot and killed by Van Dusen while attempting to flee, according to police reports at the time.

Tuesday night’s honor came in the way of a ceremonial resolution from the City Council that said, in part, “The city of Sacramento honors you for your service, and we thank you very much,” and a check in an undisclosed amount from council members to help with Bodie and Van Dusen’s expenses during Bodie’s recovery.

“We are honored to be here tonight,” Van Dusen told the council. “It shows a good thing came out of a bad situation. Adam (Cunningham) and I are both honored to work in the city of Sacramento and for the citizens of Sacramento. We feel very lucky.”

Bodie made no comment, but quietly accepted the dog treats Ashby offered from the dais.

After the shooting In May, Bodie spent eight days in intensive care at VCA Sacramento Veterinary Referral Center before being sent home with Van Dusen to recover for another several months.

K9 police supporters and dog-lovers from throughout the region who heard about the incident donated nearly $30,000 to help pay for Bodie’s medical bills and his follow-up therapy. Bodie is expected to return to full duty in a few months, according to the Sacramento Police Canine Association Facebook page.

Eight officers and one sergeant and their canine partners make up the Sacramento Police Department K9 Unit, according to the association. The unit supports police patrol operations and other investigations and SWAT. Currently, there are eight German Shepherds and one Dutch Shepherd on the K9 unit.

Bodie is only the second K9 officer in Sacramento Police Department history to be shot in the line of duty. The other K9 officer, Bandit, was shot in March 2010 and returned to duty after a full recovery.

Melissa Corker is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter @MelissaCorker.

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