In December of 2009, the Lafayette Police Department announced the retirement of one of their most loyal officers on patrol, K-9 Leah, a German Shepard who was plagued with a serious back injury, and allowed to spend the remainder of her life with her partner and friend LPD Officer J. Ruiz.
With this most valuable tool unable to work, Chief Jerry Dallas and other members of Lafayette’s Law Enforcement team went to work to find Leah’s replacement, and through many possibilities of available K-9’s, the LPD team decided to employ, K-9 Brass, a three year old female, Dutch Shepard.
After months of rigorous training, the K-9 team was finally certified to patrol the streets of Lafayette, protecting residents from danger and keeping a sharp nose out for the scent of narcotics on traffic offenders.
This past Friday night, she helped apprehend an armed assailant, preventing further injury to several bystanders in harm’s way.
“A call was received about some people, who were fighting in an apartment, and one of the men was reported to be armed,” Chief Jerry Dallas commented. “The man took off out the back and the K-9 tracked him down.”
“When we got there, the suspect had already shot the gun off inside the house,” K-9 Officer J. Ruiz relayed, “and there were several people still inside the house.
“Lt. Ray Amalfitano, Officer Stacey Woodard, and I began calling the people out of the house and placing them in a safe location. Almost everyone there was intoxicated, except for two juveniles.
“When I gave the announcement that the K-9 was coming in, Brassy began to bark, and all of a sudden, a huge yellow dog flew out of the door and immediately began to attack her. I got the dog off of her and we proceeded to go into the house.
“When we got to the back bedroom, we found a guy, who had shut the door and refused to come out. We had to force entry into the room and get him out. After we cleared the house, we started running the track for the suspect that had allegedly shot off the gun in the kitchen area of the house. We tracked the guy around a fence, through a field, and down to the edge of the woods, which was approximately 350 yards from the house.
“Brassy started barking, which alerted me that the suspect was near. Officer Woodard shined the flashlight down into the woods, and I seen the suspects head. I shouted the command to give up or I was going to send in the Police K-9. The suspect threw his hands up in the air. I prepared to turn Brassy loose and told her to guard. She went up to the suspect and stood right in front of him, which cautioned him to stay completely still. We walked down and apprehended him without the first injury. Officer Porter, Officer Jackson Dale, and I, went back through the area Brassy tracked him through and we found where he had hid the gun.
“All of the officers worked quickly to get the other people to safety and Brassy was there to protect me, especially when we thought the suspect still had the gun on him.
“She is a great asset to this department, and a great working dog,” Chief Dallas commented, and Officer Ruiz agreed, explaining that when the other dog leaped out of the door and attacked K-9 Brassy, the other dog had bitten a pretty big chunk out of her nose. “Even after getting bit, she still went in and done her job.”
Since Brassy was employed with the Lafayette Police Department in January of 2009, the K-9 team has made numerous drug cases for the City of Lafayette, also finding narcotics in Red Boiling Springs, and Trousdale County.