May 19, 1981
Handler: Officer Ken
Now Lt. K. Kramerman
Redding Police Department
California Street - Redding, CA 96001
530 - 225-4289 - email PD
(Memorialized Oct. 5, 2002)
K-9 "ASKO" was a 3 1/2-year-old German Shepherd imported from Germany.
He was a SCH I. He worked the street with his partner, Lt. Ken Kramerman,
for a little over two years before his death. Asko was responsible for
over 60 arrests and 25 justified street bites. He was the first and only
dog killed in the line of duty for the Redding Police Department. On May
19, 1981 at approximately 0600 hrs Asko and his partner were called out
from home to respond to the Shasta County Jail. There were five
individuals that had escaped from the jail. The inmates were reported to
be armed and were possibly on the roof of the jail. The roof of the jail
has a three-foot wall surrounding the perimeter also on the roof were
numerous air conditioning units and many other places the escapees could
hide. Due to the fact the escapees were reported to be armed, and the
fact the roof had a three-foot wall around the perimeter the officer
elected to let Asko search the roof area off leash.As Asko began his
search his ears and tail went up indicating he had picked up a scent. He
made his way across the roof and followed the scent by jumping over the
three-foot wall and falling three stories to his death. Apparently the
escapees had made their way off the roof to the ground and the dog
followed the scent.
End of Watch: May 19, 1981
K-9 Redding police dog's name on memorial
Memorial to honor fallen police dogs
Alex Breitler - Record Searchlight
ASKO - October 05, 2002 — 2:23 a.m.
Asko's ears perked and his tail shot up. He'd caught the scent of five
escaped inmates on the roof of the old Shasta County Jail. Eager as
always to do his job, the German shepherd police dog followed his nose
and leaped over a wall, unaware there was nothing but empty space on the
other side. He fell three stories to his death. Two decades later, Asko
— the only Redding police dog killed in the line of duty — will be among
19 dogs honored at a state K-9 memorial to be unveiled at noon Sunday at
the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. "He
was an exceptional dog," recalled Asko's handler, then-officer Ken
Kramerman, now a lieutenant in the same department. "It was no different
than losing a human partner for me." The memorial, named "Faithful
Partner," includes a star-shaped pedestal with plaques listing the names
of the dogs, and a statue of a German shepherd wearing collar and badge.
Police dog teams from all over the state were expected to attend the
ceremony. Each of the dogs' stories has a different ending, but all are
tragic. One dog was stabbed by a rape suspect during a search. A second
was shot while sniffing out a gunman in a park. A third was hit in the
head with a pair of pliers by a car-theft suspect. Asko, 3 years old
when he died, was imported from Germany and worked the streets with
Kramerman for two years before his death. In that time he was credited
with 60 arrests and 25 justified bites. He was both a cop dog and a
family dog, living at Kramerman's home during the day and working with
him at night. Most police dogs get a bit tired on the graveyard shift.
Not Asko. He'd stay awake the whole time, his handler said. Even on
Kramerman's days off the dog was raring to go. "He'd be at the door
looking at me, wagging his tail, saying, 'Come on, let's go,' "
Kramerman said. On May 19, 1981, Kramerman was called at home about 6
AM. He was asked to bring Asko and join in the search for the inmates,
who were believed to be armed. The pair went to the roof, which was
cluttered with air conditioning units and all sorts of hiding spots. A 3
foot high wall circled the perimeter. Kramerman gave Asko a search
command and let him off his leash to follow the scent, figuring the wall
would keep him safe. "He wasn't going to walk over and just fall off the
edge," Kramerman said. But Asko in his enthusiasm jumped over the wall
and fell to the ground. He died a short time later. Kramerman lost not
only his work partner, but his family dog. "That was part of the job,"
he said. "It's something you don't think about. You know the risks." The
Department of Justice earlier this year sent letters about the memorial
to all law enforcement agencies to collect a list of dogs to be honored.
Organizers of the memorial say there are 15,000 police dogs in the
United States, including bomb- and drug-sniffing dogs. "They really
enjoy what they do," Kramerman said. "People don't understand how
valuable those dogs are. They do the work of basically hundreds of
officers." Kramerman still thinks of Asko occasionally and has pictures
of his canine friend.
"I lost a partner," he said. "That's what he was."
In Loving Memory of
Handler: Trooper Chapman
K9 Abbey laid down her life for her handler and expected nothing in
return. K9 Abbey protected her partner with her life, and was the first
in to find drugs and weapons, and was the last to leave. Even though K9
Abbey did not take a bullet to end her life, she and her partner endured
years of pain and suffering from a silent killer chemical at the hands
of a drug dealer.
K9 Abby is hereby
recognized for her acts of courage and commitment to basic law
enforcement functions of protection of life or property, enforcement of
laws, preservation of the public peace, prevention of criminal acts or
apprehension of criminals.
K9 Abbey, donated by
the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, was one of the original four
canines deployed by the Florida Highway Patrol in 1984. After completion
of training with her assigned handler, Trooper Richard "Spanky" Chapman,
they reported for duty on the Florida Turnpike.
During her career,
K9 Abbey was responsible for over 797 felony arrests, confiscating over
$47 million dollars in illegal narcotics and over $725,000 in drug
related currency. K9 Abby’s outstanding and diligent work efforts were
noted by criminal elements. It was well known that among the criminal
element, rewards had been offered for the elimination of K9 Abbey and
Trooper Chapman. On November 18, 1988, while conducting a canine sniff
of some narcotics, K9 Abbey was overcome and fell to the ground. The
unknown chemicals also momentarily overcame Trooper Chapman. Soon
thereafter, Trooper Chapman was diagnosed with a life threatening
illness that was subsequently determined to be work related and a direct
result of this exposure. K9 Abbey was retired in June 1991 and as a
result of this criminal act of aggression, died in July 1992 of a rare
liver cancer, directly related to the 1988 incident.
submitted by Bobby Earl