People remember Officer Hondo as a hero

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Memorials grow in two cities for Utah’s first officer killed in the line of duty.

Chief Deputy of United States Marshal’s Brandon Holt said, “Hondo is a hero. He did his job.”

Hondo was a K-9 officer with the Herriman City Police Department. He started his service with the Unified Police Department in October of 2015. His handler the whole time was Officer Benjamin Ricks.

Friday, blue ribbons line that cities utility posts. The SUV Hondo rode in is now a memorial in front of Herriman City Hall because his job was to protect and serve.

“The tragedy is that it’s only when these animals do their job that we recognize their value,” Herriman City Police Department’s Lt. Cody Stromberg said.

Hondo did what he has done time and time again, catch an alleged bad guy.

“Last night’s situation where it went from a surveillance operation to an apprehension very, very rapidly, and there is just not enough time to put a bulletproof vest on the dog before you have to deploy, a lot of times from the kennel to affect that apprehension,” said Lt. Stromberg.

The shooting happened in Salt Lake City near 300 East 500 South.
A memorial continues to grow there for Hondo too.

Even though he did have a protective vest available to him, a lot of law enforcement agencies in Utah don’t have those vests for their K-9s.

ABC4’s #There4U team found a way to get vests for K9s in our state.

We spoke with Sandy Marcal from Vested Interest in K9s.
The organization takes donations so they can donate NIJ Certified protective vests to K9s on the force.

She says to qualify for a vest, law enforcement agencies need to fill out a few forms and if everything goes as planned that K9 will get one within three to four months.

Hondo’s death is under investigation by Salt Lake City Police per Officer-Involved Shooting Protocol.

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