Fallen K9 Officer Exo to be honored in D.C. for National Police Week
PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - One special unit killed in the line of duty and gunfire late last June, K9 Officer Exo, will be honored in Washington D.C. on Thursday during National Police Week.
Ahead of the memorial, WLOX is taking a look back at some of his handler’s favorite moments with the pup as he served Pascagoula.
Officer James Prisock and his K9 partner Exo were tracking over a mile through the woods for an armed man on the run. He said it was Exo who initially found their suspect, but in this case, with far less than a reward.
Prisock said the gunman fatally shot the pup twice in the chest.
“I’ve always been an animal lover, but I didn’t realize I was that close to him as I was,” Prisock said. “It took a toll on me for a while.”
The community came together to say their goodbyes to Officer Exo last July.
“The amount of people that still come up to me that I don’t know and tell me how sorry they are for me and how there’s just no words to describe how they felt when it all happened, that means a lot to me,” Prisock said.
Since Exo’s passing, community members donated bulletproof vests for the agency’s dogs, providing their handlers with a newfound peace of mind.
“Where Exo was shot and killed, he would’ve been protected had he had this vest,” Prisock said.
While they can’t go back in time, they can mark his memory for generations to come.
“The dog’s name is going to be placed on a memorial,” Police Chief Matt Chapman said.
Chief Chapman is one organizing the team’s trip to the capital.
“The outpouring of people just- I didn’t know people love dogs that much,” he said. “But, we’ve had, you know, pictures sent, paintings of him.”
“It’s amazing,” Prisock added.
The national memorial service will also include a wreath-laying ceremony to honor Exo’s memory, along with many other fallen badged pups.
“All of our K9′s get this attached to us, and that’s probably why it was so hard, because Exo was the same way,” Prisock said as his newest K9 partner Nuke jumped in his lap.
He is leaving for D.C. on Tuesday for his final salute to Officer Exo.
You can watch it live on YouTube.
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