Man’s Best Friend in UK Law Enforcement Retiring

K-9Officer Becka and her handler, UK Police Lt. Robert Turner (Picasa)
K-9Officer Becka and her handler, UK Police Lt. Robert Turner (Picasa)
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Updated: 2/18 2:13 pm
Becka has been patrolling the University of Kentucky campus for a little over nine years. She has enhanced the safety of several Super Bowls, U.S. Opens, Kentucky Derbies and too many UK football and basketball games to count. She has even responded to terrorist threats, once traveling to Seattle to search ferries for explosives.

A graduate of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) 10-week explosive detection training program, Becka is one of three K-9 explosive detection officers in the UK Police Department, and UK's first K-9 officer. The 10-year-old Labrador retires her badge on February 28th.

Becka and her handler, UK Police Lt. Robert Turner, serve the campus, UK Athletics, and many national events. Becka is considered a federal K-9 officer through ATF, and Turner has been sworn in federally as a deputy marshal. They are on call for bomb threats, detecting explosives, protecting dignitaries, and sweeping campus buildings to ensure safety for students. Becka has more experience under her collar than many have under their belt.

On Friday, February 28th, Becka will be honored for her service to the UK community with a retirement ceremony at the University of Kentucky Police Department headquarters. Recently diagnosed with cancer, Becka is stepping out of the line of duty and into the path to recovery as she undergoes chemotherapy. She has been diagnosed with having a mast cell cancerous tumor in her lung. Lt. Turner and Becka will continue to be partners though, as he transitions from handler and co-worker to full-time caretaker and pet-owner.

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