Retirement ceremony in SADE’s honor
Who: SADE, SAISD’s beloved police K-9, her handler, Officer Charles Whitlock
Also expected to attend: the brothers who won the dog-naming contest in 2005 as Graebner Elementary students
What: Retirement ceremony in SADE’s honor
When: Sept. 16 (Mon) – 5:30 p.m.,
Where: Burnet Center, 406 Barrera St.
A valued District Police Department veteran will soon be enjoying a dog’s life. But before officially assuming retirement, SADE (pronounced Sadie) – a 10-year-old black Labrador retriever (80 in dog years) – will be honored by SAISD Trustees at the Sept. 16 School Board meeting where she will joined by her handler since joining the force in 2005, Office Charles Whitlock.
During this time the decorated duo have performed thousands of searches to keep dangerous drugs away from SAISD students and delighted and informed countless youngsters by demonstrating her specialized skills.
“Some of my favorite memories over the past eight years have been doing the presentations at our elementary schools,” Whitlock said. “It was our opportunity to educate the students on the dangers of drugs and to express to our students the police department is here to help them. I believe we have made an impact on our students.”
His work with SADE also contributed to Whitlock being nominated in 2010 by SAISD Police Chief Jeff Ward for Officer of the Year, while SADE is an award winner in her own right. She earned a bronze medal at the 2009 Texas Police Games and placed third overall in narcotics detection, where she competed against 17 other teams. Most of them were from large city police and sheriff departments.
SADE was a shining star from the second she joined the force as SAISD’s first-ever narcotics-sniffing canine. After being acquired at age 2 from the Hill Country Dog Center in Pipe Creek, Texas, she inspired another first: a name-the-dog contest held at the end of the 2004-05 school year. Winners were siblings Joshua and Travis Juarez of Graebner Elementary, who devised the acronym SADE for San Antonio Drug Enforcement. Joshua now is attending Burbank High School, from which Travis was graduated last year.
“On a personal note, It has been the highlight of my career working with K-9 SADE,” Whitlock said.
But on a high note, no need to feel sad for the totally-devoted-to-each-other partners in the fight against crime. The inseparable pair will remain just that. Whitlock is adopting SADE, making her a full-fledged, forever member of his family.