A post on Saturday broke the news to the community that Friday had been the last day in office for probably the county’s most beloved Walton County Sheriff’s Deputy – K-9 officer Sgt. Falco.
“Have you ever been sad and happy at the same time. We have— Friday the best working dog ever retired,” WCSO announced on its Facebook page. “Yes, Falco has retired and now his only jobs will be to play, dig holes, sleep in his human dad’s bed and be a good boy just like he has always been.
We will miss him but we know that this is part of life. He has traveled many miles for us, found many illegal substances and chased and caught bad guys all over the state. He deserves to just enjoy life being a good boy. We love you, Sgt. Falco. Visit often, please.”
It was just two years ago when WCSO reported that K-9 Officer Falco had been promoted and would in future be known as Sgt. Falco. He had at the time just been partnered with WCSO Deputy Cpl. Matt Hill.
“It’s recognition for the job he and his handler have done,” WCSO Chief Deputy Keith Brooks said at the time. “He is a very positive role model for the Sheriff’s Office and we wanted to recognize him by giving him the new rank.”
Sgt. Falco also was one of the service dogs that was featured in the 2016 spring-summer issue of Walton Living Magazine. In announcing Sgt. Falco’s promotion on the Facebook page in 2017. At the time, Brooks outlined the importance of K-9 officers in law enforcement.
“The importance of K9s in law enforcement is two-fold,” Brooks said. “They are a tool that we use, however, they are a very important part of the Sheriff’s office. (Falco) has had a lot of success in what he does, but not only him. Deputy Hill is a very important part of Falco’s success and is dedicated to the dog, Falco does a lot of dangerous things, but he has his partner to go along with him. They train above and beyond what K9 handler and dog usually do. It is something that we’re very proud of. Falco is a member of our law enforcement family at the Sheriff’s office. However, he is a worker and has a drive to do what he does.”You create a bond with them that is unbreakable.”
And that bond is going to remain unbreakable. Only going forward, Falco and Hill will be spending their recreational and home time together instead of their time on duty. In her article in Walton Living Magazine, Christy Breedlove detailed the partnership between Hill and Sgt. Falco. The two worked a regular 40-hour work week, “but were on call 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.”
“Rigorously trained at the Alabama Canine Law Enforcement Officers Training Center outside of Tuscaloosa, Ala., the duo patrol the area in their specially equipped Chevy Tahoe. Falco’s kennel is in the back and is monitored by an alarm to alert his handler when the temperatures reach above safety levels,” Breedlove wrote. Falco had the best safety equipment available, include a safety vest. As is often customary, Falco was issued commands in his native language, which is Dutch.
We would like to thank Sgt. Falco for his service and wish him well in his retirement.