PALM SPRINGS (CBS)  — The Palm Springs Police Department will hold a memorial service Tuesday for a police dog that was shot by a wanted parolee.

The dog, Ike, had been with the department for nearly two years when he was killed in an April 17 confrontation between police and Francisco Gabriel Durazo, 31, who was wanted.

Durazo was shot and killed by officers. One officer was shot during the exchange, but survived.

Ike’s loss was a rough blow for members of the police force, who viewed the dog as if he were a human member of their team.

“It was the opinion of everyone who knew Ike that he was the ultimate friend, an outstanding partner, a loyal member of his handler’s family and, in the end, a lifesaver,” interim police Chief Al Franz said.

The service will be held at 11 a.m. in the Oasis Room of the Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros. Residents are invited to attend the one-hour ceremony.

Ike was the first police dog in the department’s history to be killed in the line of duty, Long said.

Donations in Ike’s honor can be made to the Gary Kitchen Memorial Fund, benefiting the Palm Springs Police Department K-9 Unit, Post Office Box 1830, Palm Springs, Calif., 92263.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (2)
  1. Alicia says:

    To some people, he was just a dog, but to me he is a fallen officer, I have the same sadness and I feel bad for his human partner and family.

    1. bcb says:

      Alicia, I feel the same way. It brings tears to my eyes to read this article.

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