Troy PD K-9 Milo retires after seven years of service

Published 11:41 am Thursday, June 22, 2023

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After nearly a decade of service with the Troy Police Department, K-9 officer Milo retired from service earlier this year.

Milo is a 9-year-old Dutch Shepherd trained in narcotics detection and tracking. He spent more than seven years as a K-9 officer with Troy PD. Earlier this year, Milo officially went into retirement due to health issues. He spent more than three of those years with his handler, Officer Stephen Eagen.

“We found out in January of 2023 that he had developed an enlarged heart,” Eagen said. “The decision was made that it would be better on his health to go ahead and retire.”

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Milo went into retirement with 100s of arrests to his name. He now lives at home with his former handler, Eagen.

“He was a very good (K-9),” Eagen said with a smile. “He could be very temperamental at times but that’s to be expected with any high drive dog. He was always willing to work and always willing to do what we needed him to do.”

Troy Police Chief Randall Barr announced Milo’s retirement back at the May 23 Troy City Council meeting.

“Milo has been one of the best we have ever had,” Barr said at the meeting. “He’s been a great dog and has 100s of finds of narcotics to his credit. We hate to lose him to retirement but it’s time for him.”

Eagen emphasized the importance of K-9 officers to a police department.

“They are very important to the police department,” he said. “They help us a lot, whether it’s with narcotic or bomb or weapons detection. It’s a wide variety of things they can help us with, even tracking people. They can typically get our officers to a point they need to get to a lot quicker in an investigation.”

Troy PD’s newest K-9, Azor, has some big shoes to fill but his handler is confident in the pup. (Photo by Josh Boutwell)

While Milo will get to rest now that he’s at home with his handler, Eagen has a new K-9 that he handles on the job. Azor is a 1-year-old Belgian Malinois, who is also trained in narcotics detection and tracking. Eagen has spent all of his nearly four years as a K-9 handler with Milo until now.

“There’s a lot of changes I’m still adjusting to, going from a senior dog to a brand new dog,” Eagen said. “There’s a lot more things you have to do to keep his time occupied. I kind of compare a dog to a kid that never grows up. You have to keep constantly feeding their prey drive and hunt drive.”

While Eagen said that Azor has some pretty large shoes to fill, he’s confident in the K-9 to get the job done for TPD.

“He definitely does (have big shoes to fill) but I think he’ll get there in due time,” he said. “I have a lot of people that are always willing to help me train and a lot of guys I can call, spread out all over the country, that I’ve meet going to K-9 school or K-9 training. Anytime I have questions there is always a number or someone I can reach out to and get my questions answered to help us get (Azor) to the next phase.”