K-9 Hondo remembered as part of Herriman family

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HERRIMAN — A memorial has gone up at the Herriman City Hall after the death of a police service dog during an operation with the US Marshals Service in Salt Lake.

When word spread that the police dog named Hondo was killed in the line of duty Friday, the Herriman Police Department K9 patrol vehicle used by his handler was parked in front of Herriman City Hall.

A memorial full of dog treats and dog toys began to grow.

“Hondo was very special,” said Herriman communications director Tami Moody. “We see these dogs as the same as any other staff person that works here. They’re a part of this family.”

The word “family” is often used when talking to people about Hondo. Almost every employee who works at Herriman City Hall has a story about him.

K-9 Hondo Remembered

“Hondo has personality,” said Moody.

It takes a special dog, with a special personality, to get away with sitting on the chair of the human resources coordinator.

Especially when he knows he wasn’t supposed to sit on chairs.

“He’s being a little sneak being at my desk. That’s why he looks mischievous,” said Herriman’s Human Resources coordinator Christy Cardwell while showing a picture of Hondo, smiling with his tongue out, sitting on her chair. “He really was the best dog, and I have saved that picture since he did it. I feel like he’s protecting my desk.”

Herriman has always welcomed Hondo as one of their own. That’s why, in a Herriman City logo mosaic made up of photos of Herriman employees, you can see Hondo smiling, maybe bigger than anyone.

“He means a lot to a lot of people,” said Cardwell. “It’s really hard because Hondo isn’t a dog to us. He’s a staff member. He’s an employee. He’s family.”

Police dogs have been so important to Herriman, that during law enforcement appreciation week last year, the city decided to include all the Utah dogs killed in the line of duty.

Their names were written on yellow badges tied to trees and posts in the park in front of Herriman City Hall.

City leaders already planned to name a dog park in the city after another police service dog named Dingo.

Dingo served in Herriman with the Unified Police Department before the Herriman Police Department was formed.

He was killed in the line of duty in 2017.

You don’t replace a dog like Hondo.

–Christy Cardwell, Herriman’s Human Resources

There’s already talk of including Hondo’s name in that park.

“If you know anything about Dingo and Hondo, they have saved officers lives – plain and simple,” said Herriman City Manager Brett Wood. “They’ve gotten the bad people off of the streets when we were looking for them.”

That’s why when Hondo gave his all, it only made sense for Herriman to give its all to honor and remember him.

“He’s going to be very missed,” said Cardwell. “You don’t replace a dog like Hondo.”

Funeral arrangements for Hondo have not been made yet, but when it does happen, he is expected to have a full law enforcement ceremony.

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Alex Cabrero
Alex Cabrero has been reporting for KSL-TV for nearly two decades. He has covered a variety of stories over the years from a variety of places, but he particularly enjoys sharing stories that show what's good in the world.


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