The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office said good-bye to one of their own today, K-9 officer Arros, who died in the line of duty helping apprehend four burglars in north Fayette County Aug. 3.
Law enforcement agencies from all over joined in the memorial service for Arros this morning at the Fayette County Recreation Department.
Following the ceremony, the sheriff’s office honor guard escorted Arros to his patrol vehicle one final time as his trainer and partner Cody Benslay drove him to the sheriff’s office complex where Arros was interred in a cemetery.
Prior to the ceremony, photos and videos of Arros’ law enforcement career were on display. One brief video showed him chasing down a suspect and detaining him by jumping around from side to side so the suspect had no avenue of escape.
Others who ran from Arros weren’t quite as lucky as that chap, however, said Fayette County Sheriff’s Maj. Bryan Woodie. He recalled the first suspect Arros ever caught, who had some choice words after the dog brought him down with a bite.
Sheriff Wayne Hannah said prior to the service that he admired Arros’ personality.
“I liked how he always had that smile like ‘I’m gonna get you!’” Hannah said.
Arros was one of the department’s first two “full service” dogs meaning they can detect narcotics, track missing or absconded persons, clear buildings and more, officials said.
But more than a law enforcement tool, Arros was a part of the sheriff’s office family, and his loss is sharply felt by the family of deputy Benslay, who kept Arros at home with them when he was off duty.
“These dogs become our friends,” said Lt. Dan Thamert, who heads up the sheriff’s K-9 unit. Thamert explained that he is so close with his two dogs that he often will find himself driving in his car having a conversation with them.
Often, Thamert said, the female bloodhound will reach through the partition in the vehicle to put her paw on his shoulder. One can easily imagine that Benslay and his family have had similar tender moments with Arros.
Thamert and others noted that the presence and support from numerous law enforcement agencies in the area was astounding and much appreciated. More than a dozen different canines were present with their handlers, and they lined up following the service to bid Arros farewell.
Arros died of heat exhaustion, having already apprehended two of the burglars that fateful day, and he was hot on the trail of two others when he began to wobble, and Benslay radioed for help.
Hawk 1, the sheriff’s helicopter which was helping on the case, landed nearby and rushed Arros to a local emergency veterinarian, but he could not be revived.
“He truly had given it his all that day,” Woodie said.
County Commission Chairman Jack Smith said while the loss of Arros would be strongly felt, it was important for everyone to remember his “life well-lived” and also his deeds and actions.