LAKE WALES -- A central Florida police department says farewell to a K-9 killed in the line of duty.
Officers held a memorial service at a church for a Belgian Malinois named Max, who was shot to death by a domestic violence suspect.
Lake Wales police sergeant Dale Hampton read a letter from Max's handler, Officer Jared Joyner, during a memorial service Tuesday at High Point Church. It read in part: "Thank you for always having my back, thank you for the sacrifices that you have made for me and all the boys that can never be repaid. Our whole family is grieving this immense loss."
Hampton also noted that Max had more training than some two-legged rookies, logging more than two thousand hours.
The domestic violence suspect, Earnest Boarders, 57, shot Max after the dog discovered his hiding place in some woods. Officers were looking for him in connection with an incident in which a woman was strangled and battered. They shot Boarders to death after he fired on the K-9. The state attorney's office, Polk County Sheriff, and Lake Wales Police are each conducting investigations of the incident.
Photo: Lake Wales PD/Canva