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7:08 AM Tue, Oct. 16th

Training injury leads to death of MCSO K-9 member

KINGMAN ­ The Mohave County Sheriff's Office lost an important law enforcement team member Friday upon the death of "Rocky."

Rocky, a 3-year-old male German shepherd, was injured Thursday during a training exercise in Prescott. Deputy Raja Karim, his handler, said Rocky began limping after going downstairs during a drill.

It was later determined Rocky suffered a broken leg. He died Friday of complications during surgery.

Rocky and Karim underwent two months of extensive training together before Rocky began his career in 2004 with the MCSO.

"Deputy Karim and Rocky have played an instrumental role to the entire K-9 team," team Sgt. Ron Weber said.

"They represented the foundation of the K-9 team by mentoring and revitalizing the entire team. The loss of Rocky is a great loss to the K-9 team."

All Sheriff's K-9s are paid for through private donations.

Rocky was an award-winning K-9 in the National Police Canine Association. He recently received first place in a national competition in Tucson.

In addition, Rocky was certified in narcotics and patrol work. He played an instrumental role in assisting another agency in locating 5 kilos of cocaine and often was called upon by law enforcement agencies to locate suspects.

Rocky also made numerous appearances at local schools during which he and Karim demonstrated search techniques and how fleeing suspects are captured.

Just one week ago Rocky helped capture a burglary suspect armed with a shotgun.

Donations in memory of Rocky may be made to the MCSO.

The cost of obtaining a new dog that includes eight weeks training for dog and handler is about $10,000.

Individuals or groups wishing to donate may contact Trish Carter, public information specialist, at 753-0755.