Benton Police dog dies after 4 years of service

By Wayne Bryan Published January 12, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.
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Benton, named for the city he served, died Thursday. The police dog has been a member of the city’s force since 2009.

BENTON — Benton Police Chief Kirk Lane announced Thursday that Benton, a black Labrador retriever and canine officer, died Thursday morning.

The police dog, named Benton for the city he served, joined the police force in 2009 after graduation from the Little Rock K-9 Academy. His first handler was former officer Chris Eaton. In 2010, Detective Eli Fowlkes became Benton’s handler. Officer Hunter Begoon was Benton’s teammate when the dog died.

Trained in narcotics detection, Benton, over the course of his career with Detective Fowlkes, was directly involved in the seizure of more than 9 pounds of cocaine, 48 pounds of methamphetamine, 20 pounds of marijuana and more than $100,000 in drug proceeds. They were also directly involved in the seizure of several vehicles used to transport illegal narcotics, three of which had electronically operated compartments used to conceal the drugs.

Benton’s name was chosen by holding a contest among local third-graders. Autumn Myers, a student at Ringgold Elementary School at the time, suggested the name.

“Benton was recently diagnosed with Lyme disease and was being treated for it and appeared to be improving,” Lane said in the announcement. “On the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 8, he started taking a turn for the worse. During Benton’s time at the veterinary hospital, the K-9 team members used their own time to be with him in an effort to comfort Benton during his illness.

“Benton’s service is appreciated beyond words, and we will miss him immensely.”

Tri-Lakes Edition Writer Wayne Bryan can be reached at 501-244-4460 or wbryan@arkansasonline.com.

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