K9 officer shot in the face eases into retirement

K9 officer shot in the face eases into retirement (Photo: Mike Graf)

(KUTV) Tess, a Washington County K9 officer, was shot in the face in August of 2017. Her injuries kept her out of action for a few weeks but in October she was able to get back to work.

2News recently found out that Tess has retired, not because she couldn't handle the field, but because her handler Deputy Mike Graf took a new job with Utah County.

Graf didn't want to leave Tess so he purchased her from Washington County Sheriff's Office

Since her departure, the sheriff's office has brought on another dynamic duo: Deputy Scott Duefey and 1-year-old Falko.

"I think with any new K9 there’s big shoes to fill. There’s big responsibility, a lot for him to accomplish." Durfey told 2News as the team trained on Tuesday morning.

"I think he’ll measure up."

Falko has some big paws to fill, Tess's work as a narcotics dog, was well known within the county and co-workers but Durfey believes he'll be just fine.

"I think they set the bar high…Graf was a great handler and he and Tess had an amazing bond. I think there’s a lot to be said about that." Durfey said.

Both Durfey and Falko are new to this position and team, both have never been part of a K-9 unit before and that's what Durfey said was so exciting about all of this.

"There’s a lot to learn…for him and I to grow together and to become that same kind of team." Durfey said.

Falko will start his training and go to the academy January 8th then four months after that he'll be able to hit the streets and use that nose of his sniff out the bad guys.

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