Wintersville mourns death of K-9

MILAN — Wintersville Police Department announce the unexpected death of K-9 officer Milan, a 9-year-old Dutch Shepherd. During his service with the Wintersville Police Department, Milan assisted his handler of seven years Sgt. Shawn Gegick in many searches, arrests, and apprehensions according to the department. -- Contributed

WINTERSVILLE — Friday the Wintersville Police Department lost a “beloved member” of their police force with the death of K-9 officer Milan, a 9-year-old Dutch Shepherd.

Milan has been the partner and family member of Sgt. Shawn Gegick for the past seven years. He joined the force in July 2011 and was trained and used to detect narcotics, tracking, article searches, criminal apprehension and officer protection.

During his service with the department, Milan assisted in many searches, arrests and apprehensions, according to the department.

“Milan served the village well during his watch,” Chief Art Fowler wrote on the department Facebook page. “He was a loyal officer and a loved member of the W.P.D. family, and he will be missed. Please keep Sgt. Gegick, his family, and the Wintersville Police Department in your thoughts and prayers, during this difficult time.”

K-9 officers work and live with their partners. According to Fowler, who lives with his retired K-9 partner Ali and current K-9 Tank, the relationship runs very deep.

Reactions from members of the community were immediate on the post with more than 270 in the first hour. Some comments referred to Milan as their “favorite officer,” some thanked him for his years of service, while others simply offered up condolences on the unexpected death.

Milan’s body has been transported to the Two Ridge Veterinary Clinic for a necropsy — the animal version of an autopsy.