K9 Kato passes away after distinguished career

WYOMING – The Wyoming Highway Patrol is saddened to announce the passing of one of its retired K9 officers. K9 “Kato” passed away on January 9 after a brief illness.

Kato began his career with the Wyoming Highway Patrol in 2008 specializing in narcotics detection assigned to Trooper Jason Green. In 2011, Trooper Brandon Deckert was selected as his handler and the team was assigned to Sublette County in Division ‘T,’ replacing Trooper Jason Green who was promoted to lieutenant at that time.

You never forget a partner. K9 officers are not only valuable to a law enforcement agency but a strong personal bond is developed between handler and canine. (WHP)

Kato racked up some impressive numbers during his eight-year career. He was involved in several significant narcotics-related cases and deployed throughout Wyoming during concentrated HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) details on Wyoming highways.

In 321 deployments, Kato helped the department seize 277 pounds of marijuana, 5.4 pounds of methamphetamine, $182,273 dollars of US currency directly related to drug trafficking, approximately 1 pound of prescription pills, psilocybin mushrooms, LSD and acid, five firearms (one from a school), and two searches that led to the furtherance of federal investigations involving domestic and international terrorists.

Trooper Deckert and K9 Kato were very active in their community of Pinedale as well as other communities throughout Wyoming. The pair shared their enthusiasm for working together on numerous safety-related presentations and K9 demonstrations at schools and community functions. Trooper Deckert shared his affection for Kato who taught him many lessons as a K9 handler and was there for him during some difficult times during his career.

Our condolences to Trooper Deckert and his family. K9 Kato was a valuable member of the Patrol’s K9 team, and a cherished partner and family member to Trooper Deckert. He will be missed!

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