Law enforcement from Williamson County and as far away as Waco filed into the Georgetown Community Center Thursday to remember fallen K-9 Deputy Chico. As they took their seats, a video played showing Chico's days at the sheriff's office with handler Sgt. Randy Batten.
The two were inseparable until March 9th when Chico broke out of his kennel at Batten's home during a thunderstorm. The dutch shepard's remains were found 19 days later. It is believed he drowned.
Captain James David talked about Chico's short life with his empty dog cage sitting nearby.
"Chico enjoyed swimming and chasing after sticks thrown by Sgt. Batten,” David said. "And it was well known Chico never saw a mud hole he didn't like."
Chico had a playful side, but as David explained make no mistake, when it was time to work Chico was all business.
Chico served as a narcotics dog and helped officers with suspect apprehension. His biggest achievement was sniffing out nine kilos of cocaine in a truck.
"There's a reason why dogs are called man's best friend. In Chico's case he was justice's best friend,” said Pastor Bryan Threlked.
Chico's absence is undoubtedly a loss to the department. For Batten, it is much more emotional, as he didn't just lose a partner. He lost a pet.
"Chico had a special bond with Sgt. Batten's family, mostly with his children,” David explained. “They got to watch Chico grow in his training and always asked Sgt. Batten, 'did Chico catch any bad guys today?'"
Deputies presented Batten and his children with a flag and taps was played.
In closing the K-9 prayer was read. The deputies and officers in attendance lined up to pass along their condolences to Batten.
The sheriff's office thanked everyone who assisted in the search for Chico. They are in the process of finding a new K-9 for Sgt. Randy Batten. Once that dog goes on duty, there will be a total of six K-9s in use.