COTTONWOOD- Dakota, one of the Cottonwood's Police Department K-9's, died Friday. Dakota had been with Cottonwood Police Department for over 2 years and was a valued tool the fight against drugs and crime.
The circumstances surrounding the death of Dakota have caused the Department to launch an internal investigation to determine if there were policy or equipment failures. Chief Jody Fanning has also requested the assistance of the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office to conduct a criminal investigation to determine if there is any criminal violation on the part of the K-9 handler.
Information at this time shows that Sgt. B. Campbell reported to work at the Cottonwood Police Department on Friday morning around 6 a.m. He had Dakota in his patrol vehicle in the parking lot with the vehicle running.
This is a standard procedure for K-9 handlers because the vehicles are especially equipped with the "Hot Dog" alarm system. Cottonwood Police Department K-9 vehicles are equipped the "Hot Dog" alarm to notify handlers if the interior temperature reaches an unsafe level.
The alarm did not activate.
Reports indicate that Sgt. Campbell prepared for duty and remained in the police department building until 11:30 before realizing that he had not checked on Dakota.
Campbell went to his patrol vehicle and found Dakota in distress and immediately rushed him to the veterinary office.
They were unable to revive Dakota and he passed away at about 1 p.m. The interior temperature of the vehicle is not known but the outside temperature was about 84 degrees.
The vehicle and all of its equipment will be inspected during the investigations.
"After both investigations are concluded we will look at all policies and procedures to see if there is anything we as a police department can do to better serve our K-9 partners," said CPD spokesman Gareth Braxton-Johnson.
More copper wire thefts
CAMP VERDE - Apparent thieves have stolen more phone line, apparent for the copper value. Qwest Communications called the Camp Verde Marshal's Office to complain that 200 feet of the wire was torn down from poles near Middle Verde and Reservation Loop Roads.
Qwest says the thieves pulled the wire to the ground and then stripped off the insulation and took the copper.
The utility estimates the cost to replace the line is $2,500 to $3,000.
Cable thefts have also been reported in Rimrock, Cornville, Montezuma Well and on Mingus Mountain.
The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office is asking that anyone with information about the copper cable thefts call Silent Witness at 1-800-932-3232 or the Camp Verde Marshal's Office at 567-6621.
RIMROCK -- Two helicopters were needed when an SUV with two occupants rolled over on Cornville Road east of Kimberley's Way Saturday night.
Camp Verde Fire crews were the primary responders because Montezuma-Rimrock crews were already working an accident.
The driver apparently lost control on the downhill sweeping curve. She was seat-belted, but the man who was a passenger was thrown from the vehicle.
Both were treated for head, neck and spinal injuries and flown to Flagstaff Medical Center.
At the same time, Montezuma-Rimrock crews had already been dispatched to an accident on Forest Road 618.
The department reported no serious injuries.
Someone stole my fridge
CAMP VERDE - The Camp Verde Marshal's Office is investigating the theft of a stainless steel Maytag side-by-side refrigerator from the vacant home.
The theft was reported at a residence on South Princess Lane. Officials believe the fridge was taken between Friday night and Saturday morning. The appliance is valued at $1,500.