Walsenburg community honors former K-9 Officer - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Walsenburg community honors former K-9 Officer

Walsenburg community honors former K-9 Officer

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It was a somber day in Walsenburg as the community gathered to honor a four legged friend and local hero. 

"Just because he has four legs didn't mean that he didn't serve the uniform or serve the community just like we do," said Sergeant John Salazar of the Walsenburg Police Department.   

K-9 Officer Atos died earlier this month from health complications, but during today's memorial service Walsenburg police officers remembered this heroic canine's life. 

"He was a tremendous asset to the department," said Captain Vince Suarez. "As an officer we wanted to give him a very nice ceremony and a very good goodbye." 

Atos was a dual purpose canine for the Walsenburg police department and a beloved figure in the community.

"Sergeant Salazar would take Atos to the school to do searches and stuff like that and the kids would just love it," Suarez continued. "It was never a negative thing they just enjoyed seeing Atos."  

Atos was used for narcotics detection and suspect apprehension before retiring in 2014.

Officers tell News 5, his time off duty was just as memorable.

"In work mode he was serious," Suarez said. "There was no joking around with him, but when you got him to the side he was just like any other dog."

"When we were home he was the biggest lap dog, 110 pound lap dog, that I'd ever seen," Salazar said. 

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