Remembering SPD’s Kaiser

Detective Ian Polhemus has spent 20 years in SPD and his best years were spent working with Kaiser in the K9 Unit. Together they were an exceptional team and responded to over 100 calls and investigations. Kaiser was the first canine purchased by the Seattle Police Foundation in 2002 and Kaiser protected Seattle residents until his retirement from the unit. Kaiser prevented and helped solve some of the biggest tragedies during his time with the department, but no bigger tragedy did he prevent then the one at Time for Kidz day care in Rainer Beach.

Two officers on patrol in Rainer Beach spotted a 1995 Mercury sedan that belonged to a driver with a suspended license. After officers stopped the vehicle, one suspect dashed out the door and into the night. Officers detained the other three suspects in the car and found a .22-caliber handgun tucked behind the front seat.

Officers then discovered the three in custody were convicted felons, making it illegal for them to have the gun and all three were subsequently arrested.

Polhemus was called to the scene and began his search with Kaiser for traces of the fourth suspect. Kaiser worked his way to Time for Kidz day care. They opened the gate to the backyard, and about 20 feet after walking in, Kaiser stopped, spun around and stuck his nose into the bushes. He had honed in on the suspect’s handgun, only a few feet from a child’s slide and playhouse.

Marie Humphries, the day care owner, said she watches 10 children under 4 years old, and many of them are boys. She was thankful to police for averting a potential accident. “I have a lot of little boys, and you know how they are; they like playing with (toy) guns. They might think it was a play gun,” she said. “Not to say that tragedy was in fact averted. But we don’t have to worry about it because of the dog,” Detective Polhemus said.

The close call at the day care illustrates the K-9 unit’s importance, especially in searching for evidence. Kaiser joined the SPD because of funding from supporters like you and was one of the first additional tools the Foundation was able to help SPD with. Sadly, after his many years of service Kaiser passed away on November 21, 2012.

Detective Polhemus was truly grateful for working with Kaiser and thanks supporters like you who donated to the Seattle Police Foundation for making it possible. According to Detective Polhemus, “Kaiser was a working dog that was head strong, driven and motivated from day one to do his job. He was meant to be in the K9 Unit and help protect this city. The day we had the incident happen in Rainer Beach and I told him to stay while I gathered some quick information from the other two officers, Kaiser was already crawling on his stomach tracing the suspect. Before I knew it he was ten feet away from me crawling and sniffing. That’s the kind of canine he was and how hard he worked.”

As you consider where to invest your final charitable gifts of 2012, I ask you to consider a tax-deductible gift to the SPF to help us continue providing SPD with the tools they need, like Kaiser, to keep our neighborhoods safe so our businesses and families can thrive.

I personally thank you again for your support of public safety in Seattle over the last decade and moving forward.

You will be missed Kaiser. The citizens of the City of Seattle are thankful for all you did.

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and safe holidays,

Renee Hopkins

President & CEO