‘Deputy Dog’ retires, with honors

See why this Multnomah County Sheriffs Office ‘K-9 Officer’ will be missed by many …

MCSO Patrol Deputy Todd Weber prepares to say farewell to his partner of nearly a decade, K-9 Officer Varro.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
He couldn’t speak for himself in English, at his retirement celebration, at the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Hanson Building in outer East Portland on September 11.

But, it was clear that K-9 Officer Varro – a 100% purebred German Shepherd – loved being the center of attention that afternoon.

“Varro was assigned to me when he was 16 months old, back in October, 2005,” said his partner, MCSO Patrol Deputy Todd Weber. “He’s served his entire nearly nine-year career with me.”

It wouldn’t be a celebration without a cake – and this one is for Officer Varro.

When on the job, Varro is referred to as a “patrol dog”, Weber explained. “This means he’s primarily been a tracking dog; looking for criminal suspects who are on-the-run. He also looks for articles of evidence. We also work with the marshals, the Warrant Strike Team, and the Portland Police Bureau SERT team.”

Varro’s career statistics include 985 Calls for Service, 123 captures, 172 assisted apprehensions and numerous evidence finds and retrievals, MCSO Public Information Officer Lt. Steve Alexander told East Portland News.

Beyond his law enforcement work, Varro was also valued because he interacted well with community members, Weber said. “The big difference he makes in the community outreach with kids and families. This has a huge positive impact.”

At his retirement, Varro’s portraits and awards are on display.

Varro’s exemplary service started with a required 400 hours of Basic K-9 classes and the passing of the Oregon Police Canine Association standards. And his last assignment was a K-9 demonstration at the Kidney Kids Camp, held at Aldersgate Retreat Center in Turner, Oregon, entertaining kids fighting through kidney disease.

MCSO Law Enforcement Chief Deputy Jason Gates served as MC at Varro’s retirement party. “One thing I can tell you, is to be sure not to stand in front of him when he’s tracking!”

MCSO Todd Weber and Varro come to the front of the room to receive the K9’s retirement accolades.

Others there shared their recollections of Varro, and his human partner, Deputy Weber.

“Varro will go on to have a very nice retired life on large farm, chasing squirrels around, and just having fun,” Weber said.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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