Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento’s first rescue dog to become a K-9 retires after 9 years of police work

Rollo retired Friday after nine years of service as a police K-9.
Rollo retired Friday after nine years of service as a police K-9. Sacramento Police Canine Association

The Sacramento Police Department retired one of its own Friday morning, a four-legged handsome brute with a tad more fur than most sworn officers.

Rollo had clocked more than nine years in police work, starting in the profession when he was just 9 months old. In people years, of course. Multiply nine years by 7 to get the “dog years” of service.

The Sacramento Police Canine Association marked the occasion in a Facebook post on Friday.

Rollo was the first rescue dog to pass the department’s K-9 training back in August 2007. By the time he was a year old, he was patrolling the streets of Sacramento with his human partner, Officer Linda Matthew, who was recognized as the first female K-9 handler to work for the Sacramento Police Department.

Matthew said the duo answered a variety of calls in the near decade the two spent together, including violent crimes in progress like robberies and carjackings. Rollo, who is trained in narcotics detection, was sometimes called on to search a building or car for drugs.

“We are looking for suspects who have run away from officers out in the field,” she said.

Rollo was the first Dutch shepherd to enter the department’s ranks, according to the post. He was acquired by the police department through the North American Dutch Shepherd Rescue after the woman running the program recommended a career as a patrol dog, Williams said.

“She typically puts (Dutch shepherds) as pets in people’s homes but felt like Rollo had the drive to make it in law enforcement,” she said.

Dutch shepherds are known for their agility, eagerness to work and ability to follow commands. Rollo, it seems, did all three in spades. The K-9 team of Matthew and Rollo attended thousands of public events. They went to college lectures and made regular appearances at area schools.

“The bond that we have with these dogs is incredible,” Matthew said. “They are fun to work with as partners and it’s rewarding to see when their training has paid off out on the field.”

Though Rollo has retired, Matthew said he will continue to live with her through his old age.

In a related announcement, the association said Matthew will transfer to the Office of the Chief, where she will work as a spokeswoman for the department.

Nashelly Chavez: 916-321-1188, @nashellytweets