Dogs soon will frolic in a park named in tribute to Rooster, the Wichita police dog killed in the line of duty in March.
The Wichita City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to rename the Meridian Dog Park at 2127 N Meridian as “K-9 Rooster Park.”
Three police officers and their canine partners watched from the back of the council chamber.
Among them was Rooster’s human partner, Officer Daniel Gumm. He stood beside Bane, who took Rooster’s place in the K-9 unit.
Like Rooster, Bane is a Belgian Malinois. But he’s much younger and more boisterous, at age 1½. Gumm and Bane have been partnered for about 11 weeks.
“It’s like having a new cop with me, like having a rookie,” Gumm said, smiling. “He’s still got a lot of puppy left in him.”
He said he hadn’t expected – “no, not at all” – the outpouring of public support that followed Rooster’s death.
About 250 people and police dogs from across the state attended Rooster’s funeral, where he was hailed as a law-enforcement hero.
The idea to name the off-leash dog park in Rooster’s honor “came from the community, it’s unique,” Gumm said.
Resident Michael Walker proposed the renaming the park. The Park Board unanimously approved the request.
Rooster served as a police dog for about 4 ½ years before he was shot to death March 18 in a confrontation outside a south Wichita mobile home park. The man who killed the dog, Kevin C. Perry, 25, was shot to death by police.
Gumm and other officers were responding to a 911 call from a woman who said Perry had threatened her with his gun and may have been suicidal.
A staff report said the park renaming complies with a city code that specifies that only deceased individuals can have a park named in their honor.