MARION — A K-9 officer with the Marion Police Department has died after an accident during what the department calls a "somewhat routine training exercise."
The Marion Police Department shared the sad news Wednesday morning. According to the department, K-9 Assuan and the K-9 units were conducting routine criminal apprehension and fence jumping exercises at the Marion Police Athletic league on one of the baseball diamond outfield fences on June 27.
During the practice, K9 Assuan failed to negotiate a jump at high speed and hit his head on teh top rail of hte fence, suffering traumatic brain injury.
Police say their K9 Unit vet was on hand and rendered immediate medical attention, but Assuan never regained consciousness.
"There is no explanation for this and our K-9 Unit is still reeling," the department wrote.
Assuan had been with the department and his handler, Officer James Meyerchick, for 5 years.
They also shared a message from K-9 Assuan's handler:
I lost my best friend this week.....Assuan passed away after a fluke training accident Thursday night. He made me a better officer, probably a better person. I loved that dog more than almost anything in this world...he loved his job and I know he would of taken a bullet for me and done anything to protect me, I only hope he knows that I would of taken 100 bullets for him without a second thought or one hesitation. I always worked and tried to problem solve to make myself a better handler and fine tune him as a dog but truth be told, he was always the best. The best partner, co-worker, and the very best friend. I’m so sorry buddy, I’ll never get over this and you’ll never truly be replaced for me. Rest peacefully Assuan.