Partner: Officer Mike Parcells
Long Beach Police Department
400 W. Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90802
Mail cards to: Officer Mike Parcells - Long Beach Canines Officers Association -
P.O. Box 17366, Long Beach, CA 90807
n Oct. 3, Mike Parcells
, Ranger's handler, and other officers were trying to flush out a parolee hiding under a porch.
The suspect apparently shot as he
saw Ranger pass in the light.
"I know that one of us would have gotten shot that night," Parcells
said, choking back tears.
"I don't think he
saw the dog.
I can almost guarantee he
didn't see the dog.
A news camera recorded Parcells
cradling the mortally wounded Ranger as he
arrived at an animal hospital.
For Ranger's partner, 11-year veteran Officer Michael Parcells, the canine's death Monday is especially hard.
Barry, Parcells' former four-legged partner, who retired last year, died in May.
, who grew up in Cypress
, is a decorated officer who has received various awards and has been working with canines for several years.
Five weeks after Long Beach K-9 Officer Mike Parcells watched Ranger be fatally wounded in a police shootout with an armed suspect, the veteran officer is bonding with his new dog, Knight, a German-born, 70-pound beast with an 1,800-pound-per-square-inch bite and an uncanny ability to track down hiding criminals.
a hunter, and strong, probably one of the strongest police dogs we've ever had on the force, but he's
still got a lot to learn," Parcells
said of Knight, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois.
Still, despite Parcells'
sense of loss, he's
thankful that Ranger's death likely spared the life of a fellow human officer.
'As hard as it is to go through this, I would rather lose my K-9
partner than one of my human partners," Parcells
said shortly after the dog's death on Oct. 3.
"Knight's making it easier for us, especially my little (children), who really bonded with Ranger and didn't understand when he
was suddenly gone," said Parcells
and the other trainers are honing those skills now, teaching Knight to bark loudly when he
mark, and if a suspect moves, sink his
sharp canine teeth into the perpetrator's arm or leg.
"Biting is their reward for a successful find," Parcells
"They live for that.
Parcells also plans to cross-train Knight for narcotics detection work, something Ranger never did.
While the eight officers who comprise the K-9
unit are moving forward since Ranger and Drago's unexpected deaths, the transition hasn't been without its difficulties.
First, while Knight is bigger and more powerful than Ranger, he's
not street-tested, and it may take up to a year on the job before Parcells
can fully trust him and his
Then there are the memories.
Parcells family has dozens of pictures, sketches and even a large painted portrait of Ranger around their home.
Last week, an Orange County tattoo artist who read about Ranger's death needled a life-like portrait of the canine cop onto Parcells calf muscle.
The two will be together forever.
"Dogs are trustworthy to the point of flawlessness," Parcells