On May 6th, 2004 Police Service Dog (PSD) Gero was killed in the line of duty. That same year the Colorado Police Canine Association (CPCA) introduced the Gero Award. This award is for K9 cases that go above and beyond a K9’s normal scope of the job.
PSD Gero and his handler Officer Earthman responded to assist another officer with a wanted subject. PSD Gero and Officer Earthman were covering the back of the apartment when the suspect leaned out of the window. The male was armed with a handgun and pointed it at Officer Earthman. PSD Gero saw the male and began barking and lunging towards him. The male turned the gun towards PSD Gero and began shooting. One of the first shots fired hit PSD Gero killing him immediately.
PSD Gero’s barking and lunging at the male distracted him long enough to allow Officer Earthman to return fire, hitting the suspect. Investigation revealed the male fired at least 11 shots at PSD Gero and Officer Earthman.
PSD Gero’s actions that night kept Officer Earthman alive. PSD Gero is the only Line of Duty Death in the history of the Grand Junction Police Department.
Gero Award Recipients:
2004 PSD Gero and Officer Earthman
2006 PSD Bob and Officer Laas
2007 PSD Doerak and Officer Elswick
2009 PSD Nik and Officer Collins
2010 PSD Oldo and Officer Earthman