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South Valley Journal

Herriman Residents Honor Fallen UPD K9 Aldo

Jun 14, 2016 10:34AM ● By Hope Zitting

K9 Officers and handlers formed a Cordon with Aldo’s handler leading the line. –Hope Zitting

By Hope Zitting | [email protected]

“I have 42 teeth and can run in excess of 30 miles per hour. I have 220 million scent receptors in my nose. I will track a suspect from a crime scene. I will search a building for a hidden criminal … I will locate the missing child who ran away from home. I must ignore all distractions and concentrate solely on my job. My handler is my world and I know that I am his. Without him, I am just a dog; with him we can take on the world. All this I do with an unrelenting determination. I do this to please my handler as together we are a team.”

This poem, titled “I Am a Police Dog,” was exhibited on the back of fallen K9 Officer Aldo’s memorial service program.

On April 27, the police dog Aldo was shot and killed while on duty. Aldo was sent in to clear a home while police were serving a warrant on that fateful night, and the individual whom the Unified Police Department and SWAT team were searching for, fired on the K9 Officer and resulted in his death.

The memorial service began at 2 p.m. on May 14 at Herriman High School, located at 11917 South 6000 West.

The program began with a welcome by Capt. Del Craig. Two speakers, Lt. Randy Thomas and Sgt. Chad Reyes, immediately succeeded after and offered their remarks. Soon after, a video tribute to remember Aldo was shown.

The last speaker, Sheriff James M. Winder, voiced his comments. A flag-folding was performed, and then officers were dismissed to form a Cordon outside, with Officer Luis Lovato, Aldo’s handler, leading a trail of other police officers down the Cordon with the folded flag clutched in his hands.

A 21-gun salute was displayed and a procession through Herriman shortly thereafter occurred. K9 Officers left Herriman High School, traveled south to 13100 South, then east to 5600 West. It was then when all the K9 Officers were dismissed.

“We appreciate your attendance,” Craig said. “We are grateful for your support—from you and the community at large. This is a humbling time for us in our department. This is the first K9 service dog that we’ve lost in our department, and it’s been a tragic event for us, especially those who were close with Aldo.”

Aldo became part of the K9 unit in December of 2010 and had served dutifully since.

“Let’s stick to the words not spoken,” Winder said. “These animals know exactly what is going on in the handler’s heart and mind, on a regular basis with no words passing between them. In our society, we have a term that offends me. People say, ‘You know, they work you like a dog.’ You only wish. No human can do what these animals do, and yet they do it every single day.” 

Located on the Unified Police Department K9 website,, there is a profile written by Lovato. It reads, “I struck gold with Aldo. He has everything a K9 handler could ask for, and sometimes I think he even has more than enough! We understand each other. Aldo knows that my expectations of him are very high, but additionally he knows that he will be paid very nicely for doing his work the way that I want it done. Aldo loves to be a police dog and a public servant.” 

The Police Department Wives Association placed blue ribbons and flags along 6000 West from Herriman High to Main Street, and then east to the 5600 West and Main Street intersection for the K9 Officer procession that ended the memorial service.