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Commended Crime-Fighter Retires

By Lookout Staff

November 8, 2023 -- After being involved in numerous felony arrests and apprehensions a crime-fighter on Santa Monica's police force is retiring at a total cost to the City of $1.

Arko -- who has received "commendations for his capabilities" during his five years on the force -- "can no longer be expected to work with the needed energy and drive levels for patrol functions," police officials said.

Arko On Tuesday, the Council is expected to approve the sale of the 7-year-old Belgian Malinois to his handler, Officer Louis Marioni, "for the nominal sum of one dollar," according to the staff report.

As other retirees from the Department's three canine units, Arko will spend the last half of his life at his handler's home.

The average Belgian Malinois lifespan is 14 to 16 years, longer than most medium-sized dogs, according to several websites.

"It has been Department practice, since the inception of the Canine Program, to transfer ownership of canines who have reached the end of their active service lives to their handlers for a nominal sum," staff wrote.

"This allows the handler, their family, and the police dog who has become a member of their family, to continue their journey together."

The practice, which is common at other law enforcement agencies, "is in the best interests of the animal and removes the possibility of any potential liability to the City," staff said

"Council has approved such transfers in the past when service dogs have reached an age or developed medical conditions which prevent their continued service."

Payment from the sale will be deposited to account 01180001.415482.

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