Rambler Newspapers

Serving Irving, Coppell and Grand Prairie

Photo by John Starkey

Grand Prairie—Heroes come in many different shapes; some even have four legs. The Grand Prairie Police Department (GPPD) and members of the community gathered at Firehouse Gastro Park on Sunday, Jan. 9, to honor the memory of K-9 officer, Bullet, a true hero who passed away in October 2021.

Bullet, a male Belgian Malinois, served the department for eight years before retiring in December 2019 at age 13. During his time with the force, Bullet assisted in 163 arrests.

“Our K-9 are really part of our family,” Grand Prairie Chief of Police Daniel Scesney said. “Bullet was really an extra special animal for us. He was not only famous and competed on a national level, but he is somebody we really miss.

“He honorably retired and passed away peacefully, but we miss him. This gathering is an opportunity for us to get together and show each other some love.”

Lance Montee was Bullet’s handler. Besides their duties with the department, the duo also competed in “America’s Top Dog” on A&E, a show featuring K-9 officers and handlers traversing through an obstacle course designed to test their speed, agility, trust, and teamwork.

“He was my partner for about eight years,” Montee said. “I had him since he was a year and a half. What an amazing K-9, four-legged partner.[He] had a light switch I could turn on or off at any time; a lot of dogs you can’t do that. The only reason I could do that is because of the training we put into him. There was a lot of sacrifice of time from my family, but only because of my wife’s approval was I able to do that.”

Officers from the GPPD K-9 unit designed a challenge coin to honor Bullet’s memory, which was for sale at the event. The coins proved popular as the entire allotment quickly sold out.

Montee credited the department’s public information officer Chelsea Kretzas the driving force behind the event.

“This all started with a thought,” Montee said. “You can see how many people have come out to support the memory of K-9 Bullet. Not only did people have the opportunity to work with him, but other people like my neighbors got to play ball with him. He wasn’t just a working partner, but he was also a part of our family.”

For Scesney, the event was a testament to how many lives Bullet touched during his eight years of service, both in the department, in the community and around the country through his TV appearances.

“This is a first[for us, an event to honor a K-9 officer]. Bullet had gotten a lot of love from all over the country,” Scesney said. “After he retired and passed away, we had a lot of the public that wanted to come out in fellowship. That was the spirit of today’s event.”

To conclude the short ceremony, Montee received a professionally framed display with a folded American flag, a photo of him with Bullet, and a plaque honoring Bullet’s years of service.

“Bullet was one of a kind for me,” Montee said. “He touched a lot of people. It’s kind of weird; he’s a four-legged animal,but he had that impact on people. Not only was he my four-legged partner who had my back all the time, he’s an amazing dog.

“Bullet was a special breed. He could tear you up one second and be your best friend the next. Those of you who had the privilege of seeing him in action know what I’m talking about.

“My dad told me many years ago that as long as you work hard, you and your dog are going to make an impact in the city you’re with. He was correct.”