By Terrica Hendrix
The Nashville Police Department’s beloved K-9 has passed away.
Rico, who began his law enforcement career with Officer Greg Parker in July 2009, died June 26 after an apparent stroke, Parker said Monday. He retired from the police force in May after seven years on the job.
Rico, age 10, was a Belgian Malinois, and he spent the first three years of his life in Sweden where he was born.
Rico helped the NPD make more than 250 drug arrests. “Some of them were felonies involving the confiscation of drugs, money and vehicles. He has chased down five people that tried to run. Two of these had guns on them at the time of arrest along with drugs,” Parker said when Rico retired.
“Rico was the kind of partner that every K-9 officer wishes that they had,” Parker said. “He was loyal to a fault, dependable, predictable and he loved his job. He loved women and children, chicken nuggets, playing fetch and rolling around in our vehicle looking at everything as we went by. He enjoyed sitting on the bench next to me as we rode the back streets and even fell asleep on my shoulder a few times if we sat still long enough. I will think of him every time I head to work and pray that I made him as happy as he made me.”
During Rico’s career, he assisted other agencies such as Sevier County, Pike County, De Queen, Hempstead County, Mineral Springs, Murfreesboro, Blevins school, and the drug task force. He has been instrumental in the seizure of drugs, guns, money, vehicles and other related items, according to Parker.
K-9 Apollo joined the department in May after Rico retired.