Funeral Service Held For Herriman Police K-9 Hondo
Feb 29, 2020, 6:12 PM | Updated: 6:15 pm
HERRIMAN, Utah – A funeral service was held for Herriman City Police Department’s K-9 officer Hondo, who was killed in the line of duty on Feb. 13.
Officers from across the Beehive State, along with some from Las Vegas, joined members of the public for the services at Herriman High School on Saturday.
“He’s part of our family,” said Herriman City Manager Brett Wood. “He paid for his life by doing his job. Today is going to be very emotional.”
Hondo was shot and killed two weeks ago during a fugitive pursuit in Salt Lake City.
“No words could ever adequately describe what a police dog really is, and Hondo was so much more,” said Herriman City Police Department Deputy Chief Chad Reyes. “We’re going to miss him.”
Hondo helped with more than a hundred felony arrests in Salt Lake County and sniffed out hundreds of pounds of drugs during his career.
Officers joked about how good he was and how even the U.S. Marshal’s service often called for Hondo’s help.
“On the way into battle, you’ll never hear I wish we had a cat,” said Sergeant Luis Lovato with the Unified Police Department during the funeral service to some laughs.
It was on one of those calls when Hondo was killed.
Hondo was going after a fugitive when, according to police, that fugitive pulled out a gun.
Officers shot and killed the fugitive, but Hondo was shot as well.
Officials with the Salt Lake City Police Department are investigating the shooting and haven’t released any details yet as to if the suspect shot Hondo, or if his death was the result of friendly fire.
Either way, police said Hondo died a hero.
— Alex Cabrero (@KSL_AlexCabrero) February 29, 2020
He was doing his job and because of it, human officers were able to go home to their families that night.
“But as we mourn, I ask you to celebrate. Celebrate that though Hondo paid the ultimate sacrifice, he paid it doing what he loved. Doing his job. Protecting his community,” Lovato said. “Because of Hondo’s sacrifice, not only was evil taken off the street that night, but Ben was able to come home to his wife and children.”
Ben is Sergeant Ben Ricks with the Herriman Police Department. He was Hondo’s handler.
Ricks knows what kind of partner he had, but also knows the other side of Hondo.
After getting off work and going home, Hondo had a softer, family side.
He seemed to be able to relax while playing with the family children.
They even dressed Hondo in sweaters, socks and bunny ears from time-to-time.
“He loved pillows. He would always have pillows thrown everywhere. He had to be comfortable wherever he was,” said Preston Ricks, who is one of Ben Rick’s sons.
“He would lick me on my face at 6 a.m. every morning to wake me up so I could feed him,” said Damien Ricks, another one of Ben Rick’s sons.
Everyone agreed Hondo was a special dog.
He was given a full law-enforcement end-of-watch service and one final ride through Herriman.
“Good boy. We will never forget you,” Lovato said. “Godspeed.”
A lot of people lined the procession route, waving flags.
At the end of Saturday’s service, Herriman Police Chief Troy Carr promoted Hondo from officer to Sergeant.