Ranger station memorial marks changing of (police dog) guard

Scott Swanson

Local law enforcement personnel gathered Thursday, March 7, to say good-bye to the U.S. Forest Service’s law enforcement team’s police dog Nikko, who died earlier this year at age 11.

The German shepherd served from September 2003 to December 2010, assisting in 89 arrests, 53 search-and-rescue operations including the discovery of two corpses, visits to more than 1,000 school children, and working closely with various city, county and Drug Enforcement Administration police agencies that had need of his services.

Sweet Home District Ranger Cindy Glick presented a memorial plaque to Nikko’s handler, Regan Eivers, with the dog’s photo emblazoned on it. Glick also read a prayer poem, ostensibly from a dog, asking for protection for his handler.

Brightening the somewhat somber event was the arrival of Nikko’s replacement, Drex, a 3-year-old Dutch Shepherd who has been serving since last July 4. USFS law enforcement officers said Drex has already helped in several drug busts, the first less than two weeks after Drex began working. One was a meth bust at the Anonymous Mutant Festival held last summer near Detroit.

Eivers’ husband, Kevin Kennedy, said he’s appreciated the dog’s presence when his wife is on patrol.

“She’s out in the woods,” he said of Eivers. “Help is hours away. I’d be much more afraid of him than of getting shot.”