The City of Porterdale is in mourning after the loss of Porterdale Police K9 Beau Wednesday.
Porterdale Police Chief Jason Cripps could think of countless memories he had shared with his K9 partner in their years working and living together.
Beau came to the department through a donation from the City of Varnell in August 2008 and Cripps was brought back to the department to start a K9 program with him.
Originally a narcotics dog, the 5-year-old Golden Retriever worked with Cripps on countless drug arrests, community events and public safety presentations. Beau was also the inspiration for Cripps’ We Ride To Provide, a K9 memorial organization.
“My wife and I run a non-profit We Ride To Provide,” Cripps said. “We’ve given out 1,000+ first aid kits to police dogs around the world. All of that wouldn’t have happened… All of that happened because of him. All because of Beau.
“The inspiration is Beau; the legacy is Beau.”
After 10 years of service with two different agencies, Beau retired from law enforcement to a life in the Cripps household.
“He had a wonderful life,” Cripps said adding that he remembered Beau stealing his biscuit every morning at breakfast.
“He made me who I am today,” Cripps said. “Where I am today, with compassion, with empathy, with the giving back to the children in Porterdale, how I treat people now instead of when I was a younger cop, he’s made me who I am today.
“Bo came into my life when I needed him.”
Cripps said he could not even begin to explain the bond he shared with his four-legged partner.
“People just don’t realize what we go through as a dog handler,” he said. “You don’t understand that bond. Five years every single day I went to work, that dog was with me. Whether he felt bad, he felt good, he was so excited to get in that car.
Holly Cripps, Chief Cripps’ wife, said she wanted Beau to know she was proud of him.
“If not for him, We Ride To Provide would not be doing what we’re doing now,” she said. “He started all of it. It’s because of this one dog that we’ve touched the lives of hundreds people.”
Beau was laid to rest Dec. 28 because of old age.
“I wanted to give him a respectful ending,” Jason Cripps said.
Jason Cripps wanted to thank the people of Porterdale, Newton County and specifically Wheeler Petuary who had an impact on Beau’s life.