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SMPD Vet Retires, Leaving Trail of Accomplishments

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Jorge Casuso

November 19, 2020 -- A member of the Santa Monica Police Department involved in "numerous" felony arrests and "significant seizures" of narcotics has retired from the force without costing the City a dime in pension.

Boris, who has worked for SMPD since he was one and a half years old, "can no longer be expected to work with the needed energy and drive levels for patrol functions," City staff wrote in a report to the City Council.
K-9 Boris

"It has been Department practice, since the inception of the Canine Program, to transfer ownership of canines who have reached the end of their active service lives to their handlers for a nominal sum," staff wrote.

"This allows the handler, their family, and the police dog who has become a member of their family, to continue their journey together."

Pending Council approval Tuesday, the 10-year-old Belgian Malinois will be sold to his handler, Officer Greg Kapp, for $1, which will go into the City's coffers.

During his nine years on the force, Boris seems to have lived up to the reputation of a canine breed known for being alert and hard-working with a high drive for rewards.

"During Boris's length of service, he has been involved in numerous felony arrests and apprehensions, and has received commendations for his capabilities," staff said.

"Boris is also a cross trained narcotics detection canine who has assisted in many searches resulting in significant seizures in the City of Santa Monica along with several other regional cities."

Boris' retirement "removes the possibility of any potential liability to the City."

Boris will join other retired veterans of the four-dog K-9 unit that have been transferred to their handlers when they reach a certain age or develop "medical conditions which prevent their continued service."

Boris is the second SMPD dog to retire this year. In February, Kai -- a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois -- was sold to his handler Sgt. Phillip DeRyck.

In addition to helping in felony arrests and narcotics seizures, Kai conducted "many high-risk explosive detection searches" during his two and a half years on the force ("Santa Monica Crime Fighter Joins Family After Retirement," February 28, 2020).

His career appears to have been cut short after, following orders, Kai bit a suspect's leg leading to $99,000 legal settlement.

K-9s often become an integral part of the force and leave a lasting legacy, according to police.

That was the case with Pavo, known for a bark so loud and insistent he could be heard blocks away.

The 10-year-old Belgian Malinois died one month after retiring in September 2015 due to complications from a medical condition believed to have been either the early stages of cancer or a stroke.

Pavo was so “driven to work that the symptoms of illness were masked,” police officials said ("Santa Monica Police K-9 Dog Dies," October 14, 2015).

“It is a sad day at the Santa Monica Police Department,” Sgt. Rudy Camarena said the day Pavo died.

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