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					                     COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
                       POLICE DEPARTMENT
                    Recognition of Canine Service
                NEWS RELEASE - December 18, 2008
                                       PAGE 1 OF 2 TOTAL

FAX TO:      LOCAL MEDIA

FROM:        ALBEMARLE COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
             1600 5TH STREET
             CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA 22902
             PHONE: 434-296-5807, FAX: 434-972-4061

12/18/08 Authority: Lt. Todd Hopwood

On 12/17/08 the Albemarle County Police commemorated the loss of police canine, Merlin and
recognized the service of his handler, Officer David Rhodes. In April of this year, canine Merlin
was retired from his K-9 unit duties due to a medical condition. He died of cancer on
November 6th, 2008. After the loss of his canine partner, Officer David Rhodes returned to his
patrol duties without a canine partner for the first time in several years

Merlin was born in June of 2001 in Hungary. He was purchased by the Albemarle County
Police Department in September of 2004 from a kennel in Buffalo, New York. Merlin’s
commands were in both Hungarian and English. In March of 2005 Merlin and his handler,
Officer Rhodes, assisted the Virginia State Police with a vehicle search that resulted in the
seizure of 60 grams of Meth, over $1500.00 in cash and a mobile meth lab. Merlin received
several K-9 certifications and had over 500 deployments.

Albemarle County Police honored the memory of canine Merlin during a ceremony at the
police department. Officer David Rhodes received an engraved plaque and a United States
Flag in recognition of his years of service to the K-9 Unit program.

Attachment (page 2): Merlin JPG




          FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: LT. TODD HOPWOOD AT 434-972-4037
            COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
             POLICE DEPARTMENT




FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: LT. TODD HOPWOOD AT 434-972-4037