The Delaware community was in mourning Thursday after news that retired police K9, Sgt. Argo, had passed away.
Argo, 12, joined the City of Delaware Police Department in summer 2007 and began working with Patrol Officer David Sturman.
Sturman and Argo trained together for narcotics detection and other work, including searches, tracking, handler protection and public relations.
Sturman wrote Thursday that Argo’s career highlights included detecting 33 pounds of marijuana wrapped in air-tight packaging and masked with layers of motor oil, helping to detect the largest amount of illegally possessed pills ever found in one traffic stop in Delaware County, and winning gold at the 2010 Can-Am games in Dublin.
Sturman said that Argo was deployed 1,125 times during his eight-year career.
Argo retired in 2015 and lived with Sturman and his family. Sturman wrote Thursday that Argo was protective of Sturman’s family, especially his children.
“He lived the rest of his days lounging around and enjoying the company of his crazy canine sister, Bella,” Sturman wrote Thursday. “Argo quickly became accustomed to being allowed to beg for treats, and sleeping on the floor next to his human mom, Kathy’s, side of the bed.”
Argo passed away Thursday after a “long battle” with kidney disease and other age-related problems, Sturman said.
“I’m proud of him for everything he accomplished,” Sturman said Friday.
Sturman added one of his proudest memories of Argo happened after they had been working together for about a year when he and Argo were called in on their night off to investigate a break-in at the then-under-construction SourcePoint. The call came in during the middle of the night, and Sturman explained that three suspects had broken in and two of them had been apprehended by the time he and Argo arrived.
“(We decided we’d) let Argo search for him,” Sturman said. “It was such a large building. There were so many places someone could hide.”
Sturman said Argo started pulling him toward the under construction elevator shaft and as they approached, he heard a voice call out of the shaft pleading, “Please don’t let your dog bite me.”
“It was almost humorous,” Sturman said Friday. “We would never have found this guy. What it taught me is to trust your dog, because their senses are way better than ours.”
Sturman said Argo was “selfless” and always did the job he was given “whether he wanted to or not.” As an example, Sturman said Argo hated having his face wet, especially in the rain, and said Argo would rub his face on Sturman’s pants to dry it off before going back to work.
Sturman said that a component of Argo’s job was being out in the community, and because Argo’s disposition was so friendly, many people in Delaware came up to pet him.
“We tried to share (Argo) as much as we could,” Sturman said. “Anyone could come up to him.”
City of Delaware Capt. Adam Moore said Friday that Argo’s legacy at the police department will live on.
“The police department is deeply saddened by Argo’s passing,” Moore said. “He dutifully served the city in many roles; protector, faithful partner, and goodwill ambassador. Although he has left us, the impact of his service in the community will always remain.”
The post on Argo’s Facebook page notifying the public of his passing had hundreds of interactions and dozens of comments Friday afternoon.
“He will be missed immensely,” Sturman said.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.