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December 3, 2010 > K-9 retires after seven-year police career

K-9 retires after seven-year police career

By Meenu Gupta
Photo Courtesy of Misa Leal

K-9s are assigned to an officer as a team and live with that officer and his/her family. K9 teams are expected to respond to a variety of calls including suspect apprehension, officer protection, high risk/felony car stops and public demonstrations. A K-9 unit typically works together for five years until the K9 retires. The Chief of Police may extend the working career of a K-9 handler and his partner on a year-to-year basis, based upon health of the K-9, success in the field and willingness of the officer to continue working with his partner for the benefit of the department and community. A valued Newark K-9 who has earned several such extensions has now retired. K-9 Officer Ray Hoppe says of his partner, Uras, who served during two extensions, "We helped to bring back the Department's K-9 narcotics program."

After thousands of patrol missions protecting civilians, Uras recently retired. The eight and a half year old German Shepherd served the Newark Police Department's K-9 Unit for seven years, the maximum term for this position. Uras also received a commendation for police service at the November 17, 2010 City Council meeting. The fifth K-9 since the department re-instituted the K-9 program, Uras was the last K-9 purchased through community donations. A good portion of the money came from a donation by the Pabco Gypsum Corporation, along with money donated by the Portuguese Cultural Center, and the Bulcao Family of Newark. Further donations were received from The Newark Rotary Club, Newark Optimist Club, and the Square Dance Farmer's and Farmerette's.

During his tenure with Newark PD, Uras worked alongside K-9 Officer Ray Hoppe to make numerous narcotics arrests, was directly responsible for apprehending 237 suspects and locating narcotics on over 264 occasions, leading to the seizure of thousands of dollars in drug money. Uras and Officer Hoppe worked together as a team patrolling the streets of Newark; performing at numerous demonstrations for local schools and organizations and at the Citizen Police Academy and Police Department Open House.

Uras has conducted 165 building searches, 804 outside area searches, and 3,567 security checks of residences and businesses; over 2,350 hours of activity. Over the past seven years, Uras became the longest serving canine on the department's SWAT team by bravely serving for the past six years.

"A typical day for Uras started by him waking up his partner (me) telling him to wake up, time to go to work," Officer Hoppe told TCV. "Uras was very excited to hop into his patrol car and go to work. Uras not only enjoyed searching for bad guys, or drugs, he thoroughly enjoyed meeting the children as well as the adults of the city he served.

"During Uras' off time he joined his K-9 handler on trips to Montana, trips to the snow, and especially excursions to Disneyland. He also accompanied his handler and family on several camping trips and boat rides on the lake. During his short time in retirement Uras is adjusting to just relaxing and enjoying life," said Officer Hoppe.

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