Wintersville Police Department will soon have a vacancy


The Wintersville Police Department will soon need to fill a vacancy.

One of the department's police dogs is retiring.

Ali has been a k-9 officer with the Wintersville PD for more than 9 years. But a rear back injury and his advancing age is forcing him into retirement.

Now the department is looking for a worthy successor.

The bond shared by Ali and Chief Art Fowler transcends language.

Fowler uses coded commands -- a mixture of German and Dutch. It keeps his partner focused, and it's an homage to Ali's heritage. Ali is a Belgian Malinois.

At 10 years-old, Ali is the older of the department's two k-9 officers and will be sorely missed when he retires in June.

"One of the best things that he's done, as far as notability, he found a firearm used in a murder 3 days after it was used," Fowler said.

The department has launched an online campaign to find and fund Ali's successor. With more than a dozen performance awards racked up over the years, it's going to be tough to find a dog of Ali's caliber.

"I mean, he's saved my life before. I guarantee that," Fowler said.

"Ali, he has had this unique knack. He has a personality that is second to none. I can take him in to preschools with little kids...

"I'm going to hate to see him go. It's going to break my heart. But I know this is the best decision for him."

Finding a dog of similar demeanor is the goal. As for Ali, he'll soon be part of the Fowler family.

"Oh, no. Ali's staying with me,” Fowler said. “I'm not letting him go."

A gofundme account has been set up here.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off