PALM SPRINGS - The Palm Springs Police Department suffered the loss of K9 Officer Ike on April 17th 2011. Ike was the first police dog in the history of Palm Springs' K9 unit to die in the line of duty. On Saturday Ike's handler, Officer Luciano Colantuono looks back.
"It was very hard. It's someone you go to work with and becomes your partner. When you come back to work and you don't have that dog, you feel a sense of aloneness," Colantuono said.
On Saturday the community celebrated Ikes life.
"Whether it be a K9 or an officer when they give their life for their job or their community it's an obligation for the police department to continue their memory forever," said PSPD's Chief Bryan Reyes.
"I love animals. We support animals of any kind and police dogs are important for our society today, they really are," said one 5K participant.
Police dogs are purchased by donation only. Organizers expect to raise $15,000, which is just enough to fund the next PSPD dog.