Keno, the last police K-9 to work for the State College Police Department, has died.
The German Shepard began his career in May 2008 in Happy Valley and retired in September 2013 with his handler, Officer Kris Hopkins, according to a release.
The police department transferred ownership to Hopkins after their retirement.
Keno specialized in narcotic detection, tracking and criminal apprehension, and he was honored as the 2012 Fur Ball Honoree for Centre County PAWS.
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In 2010, Keno was recognized for his key role in tracking down the possibly armed and dangerous Maksim Illarinov, who was wanted for his role in a string of armed robberies and other thefts and burglaries in Centre and surrounding counties. When the police task force investigating the robberies stopped a group of suspects on South Allen Street, Illarinov, the main target, escaped. That’s when Hopkins and Keno went to work, tracking Illarinov through backyards, onto house porches and into window wells, to a vehicle in which he was hiding. Keno and Hopkins were both recognized for their efforts in apprehending Illarinov, preventing him from injuring anyone while at large.
Hopkins became a pet behavior consultant in retirement, and Keno helped pets with behavioral problems. He was also well-known for doing K-9 demonstrations for various local organizations.