Herriman K9 Wins Top Dog Honors at National Competition

HERRIMAN, Utah – If you ever want to hear a policeman behaving like a child again, set him up with a dog.

“He’s a good boy!” Sergeant Ben Ricks said in the kind of voice all dog owners know. “Do you want to go play?”

Ricks is with the Herriman Police Department and loves working with his 4-legged friend K9 Daavo.

“I talk to him all the time while we work in the middle of the night. He never answers. That’s the best,” Ricks said with a laugh.

As far as Sgt. Ricks thinks Daavao, a 4.5-year-old Belgian Malinois, is one of the best police dogs, last weekend proved it.

Daavo won two first place awards for tactical obedience and narcotics detection, and two second place awards, at the annual K9 trials competition in Las Vegas.

The event is well known in police circles as the best K9 competition in the West.

It was also Daavo’s first time participating, and Ricks couldn’t be happier.

“He did well. He did fantastic. I’m super proud of him,” said Sgt. Ricks. “When you get in front of a crowd of people like that, sometimes they get distracted and they look around, but he did well.”

Ricks did well too, emotionally.

Because there was no doubt that her last dog, Hondo, was on her mind.

“I think of him every day,” said Sgt. Ricks.

Hondo, who was also a Herriman Police K9, was shot and killed in the line of duty two years ago while pursuing a man wanted by US Marshals.

His funeral was something many in the community came up for.

“They’re 100% behind us and we certainly appreciate that,” said Sgt. Ricks. “We have a great community here in Herriman and they showed it.”

sergeant. Ricks wasn’t sure he could move on with a new dog, but when he met Daavo, the connection was instantaneous.

“They all have their own personality. I think Hondo was a little softer at home,” Ricks said. “Daavo, he likes to loop around the dining room table with his toy in his mouth until you tell him to stop. It might take half an hour to an hour. He just keeps going.

The smile of Sgt. Ricks face said it all.

Daavo helped him heal from the loss of Hondo.

“They both had energy when they came to work. I’ll tell you,” he said.

A new dog park is set to open next month in Herriman. It’s called K9 Memorial Park where Hondo will be honored as well as K9 Dingo who was also killed in the line of duty while working for the Unified Police Department in the Herriman area before Herriman established his own department.

“I can’t wait for the park to open,” Ricks said.

This is where people can experience Hondo’s story and also where Daavo will continue to learn to be one of the best good boys.

“He was tired the last night of the competition and fell asleep right on my hotel room bed, so he didn’t get a good treat and we went home yesterday,” said Sgt. Ricks. “He will definitely have a reward tonight.”

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