Canine Smokey came to the Folsom Police Department in November 2002 by way of a vendor, ‘Mar-Ken International’ Canine in Santa Cruz, California. Smokey was just 15 months old when he began his training to become a police service dog. Smokey was imported from the region formerly known as Czechoslovakia and as near as we could tell, he was born in September 2001. Since his exact birthday was unknown, I adopted September 11th, 2001 as his official birthday. It only seemed fitting that Smokey would be considered by his own right a freedom fighter for the community.
Smokey recorded over 670 activities during his eight year career in patrol. Approximately 100 hundred of those activities were canine demonstrations where Smokey had the opportunity to interact with children and adults in the community. One of the most memorable demonstrations took place during a ‘Red Ribbon’ week school event where I allowed the assembly of students to meet and greet Smokey. I underestimated the number of students in attendance at the assembly and Smokey had the opportunity to meet 445 new friends on that particular day. Smokey had many memorable visits to the UC Davis Childrens Hospital where he was able to lift the spirits of the children and the staff of doctors and nurses. Smokey was the first mix-breed police service dog used by the Folsom Police Department. Smokey was a mixture of the German Shepherd breed and Belgian Malinois breed, two popular breeds used for police service. Smokey was smaller in stature, muscular in his build, and possessed great speed which was a pleasure to observe. However, Smokey’s greatest attributes were his incredibly strong desire to work as a police service dog and his very sweet nature.
Smokey passed away on February 1, 2012 due to health issues. He will be missed by all those who were influenced by his life as a police service dog. He will be missed as a patrol partner and a member of my family. He was a dedicated and devoted worker who served the community of Folsom well.