The German Shepherd Dog Club of St. Louis, Inc., has been hosting this annual event for more than 50 years as a way to honor brave St. Louis area police officers and their K-9 partners.
The categories that a K-9 partner can be nominated for to win an award include the following: Suspect Apprehension; Controlled Substance Detection; Explosive Device Detection; Evidence Detection; Tracking; and Search & Rescue. Each K-9 award recipient receives a medal to be hung around their neck and a framed award certificate.
This year, PO Monticelli brought his K-9 partner Onyxx to receive two awards. One for Suspect Apprehension and the other for Controlled Substance Detection.
The award for Suspect Apprehension was bed on PO Mike Monticelli and K-9 Onyxx responding to a call for assistance from the Berkeley Police Department on May 8, 2013. They were conducting an area search for a suspect wanted for Armed Robbery, Assaulting a Police Officer and resisting arrest. They started to track the suspect from the last location where he was spotted, which was about 1/10th of a mile into a wooded area. K-9 Onyxx found some U.S. currency that had been dropped by the suspect and picked up an odor trail. Since PO Monticelli could tell that Onyxx had the suspect’s odor, he gave several K-9 announcements for the suspect to give up. When the suspect didn’t respond, K-9 Onyxx was deployed. The suspect was apprehended and taken into custody without further incident.
The second award given to K-9 Onyxx was based on his work with federal agents on May 25, 2013, at a local You Store It facility. They were working on a case involving suspects transporting large amounts of illegal narcotics into the area and believed this controlled substance was stored there. They asked PO Monticelli to have his K-9 partner Onyxx sniff several of the lockers. K-9 Onyxx stopped and scratched one of the doors, indicating he had picked up a scent. When the federal agents opened the locker, they found several bundles of Marijuana totaling 165 pounds. Suspects in this case were later taken into custody and are facing charges.
K-9 Onyxx was born in Caechoslovakia on February 18, 2005. He graduated from the St. Louis City K-9 Academy on December 7, 2006. A year later, he was certified with the Missouri Police K-9 Association and later with the North American Police Work Dog Association. Onyxx is trained to detect narcotics, tracking, area search, building search, evidentiary recovery, and handler protection. He lives in Hazelwood, the City he protects and serves.
Onyxx is one of two German Shepherds assigned to police officers as part of the Hazelwood Police Department’s K-9 Program. The other canine is Chavier, which is assigned to PO Brian Hale. Both of them are dual purpose narcotic German Shepherds. Both K-9 teams bring different strengths and abilities to the department.
In May 2013, PO Hale and his K-9 partner Chavier received word that they were recipients of a Quarterly Award from the National Police Canine Association. On October 15, 2012, they were called to a residence in Hazelwood where detectives were investigating possible drug activity. K-9 Chavier gave a positive alert sign to the presence of a safe behind the wet bar. When detectives opened the safe, they found $7,500. K-9 Chavier also went into the bedroom and gave a positive alert sign to a hidden room inside the hall. Once the detectives were able to access the hidden room, they found 20 pounds of Marijuana. This prompted Hazelwood police detectives to arrest two suspects for drug distribution and weapon charges.