Desoto County News

“We’ll take it from here” – K9 Officer Zak remembered

Photo: Remembering Olive Branch Police K9 Officer Zak with a photo, flag and display in front of the Olive Branch Municipal Court chambers on Friday, Aug. 4 (Bob Bakken/  

A brief memorial service was held late Friday morning, Aug. 4 inside the Olive Branch Municipal Court building for one of the city’s finest; certainly one of the police department’s best on four legs.  

K9 Officer Zak, one of two K9 dogs with the Olive Branch Police Department, unexpectedly died on July 28, the same day it was discovered Zak was suffering from cancer. Members of the police department, other K9 officers, and Mayor Ken Adams were on hand Friday to support Zak’s partner/handler Police Sgt. Andrew White and his family.  

“Words cannot communicate enough our appreciation for you, Sgt. White, that you have worked so exhaustively with and alongside Officer Zak,” said police chaplain Dr. John Wallace Jr. of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church. “Our prayers are continually toward all of you to whom Officer Zak has tremendously impacted. Our K9 Officer Zak was the embodiment of love as seen by all of those among his workforce colleagues who were fortunate enough to have encountered him.” 

Zak and K9 Officer Flip were the two K9 dogs that were on the police force. Police Chief Bill Cox said Zak was a very valued member of the department. 

“He was a K9 that was always available to us,” Cox said. “He was one that was very responsive. He worked very hard and he worked very well with his handler. We’re definitely going to miss having Zak on our team.”

Zak passed handler’s school in 2017, Cox said, and has been with the Olive Branch department since then.  Cox said K9s are an invaluable resource to what the police department does.  

“K9s have so many functions that they assist with, not only searching for drugs and drug paraphernalia, but searches for lost or missing individuals, search and recovery, all those things that K9s can be trained to do,” Cox said. “A K9 can be trained in many areas that are valuable to a department and the assistance they can provide across a range of actions.” 

Cox said a K9 will be brought into the department but because of the unexpected nature of Zak’s passing, the search for a new K9 had not started yet.  

“We will begin that process very shortly,” Cox said.  

Friday’s memorial service ended with a dispatcher radio transmission fed into the court chambers stating, “K9 Officer Zak, your service is appreciated. End of watch, July 28, 2023. We’ll take it from here.”

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