SPD mourns the passing of K-9 Freddie

It is with great sadness that we report the death of “Freddie”, the Seattle Police Explosive Detection Canine, faithful partner to Officer Craig Williamson, SPD’s first and only “Bomb Dog” team.

On Saturday morning 9/12/09 Officer Williamson took Freddie to the vet because he was obviously in distress with no energy and lacking his usual enthusiasm. The vet determined Freddie had a serious problem with internal bleeding and he was transferred to a critical care veterinary hospital. A determination was made that he needed immediate surgery and blood transfusions. While prepping Freddie for surgery his heart stopped. Freddie was revived and underwent surgery to remove his spleen. Freddie passed away peacefully a few hours after the surgery without regaining consciousness.

Officer Williamson and Freddie were an exceptional team. They provided valuable services to the Seattle Police Department and many other agencies from July of 2003 right up until his passing. They conducted hundreds of support missions over the years ranging from dignitary protection bomb sweeps to evidence searches for crimes involving firearms and explosives. They were very visible and well received representatives of SPD at innumerable public relations events like the Precinct picnics and Citizens Academies. As a team they were presented the Award for Excellence at the 2008 Seattle Police Foundation Awards Ceremony. Requests for their services came in almost daily and they were called out from home in the middle of the night frequently to do crime scene searches. They never failed to respond. Freddie was nearing retirement age but because of his extraordinary abilities and willingness to work his service time had been extended.

Freddie was an Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) trained dog.  Craig and Freddie were recognized as a premier team by the ATF. By virtue of being so highly regarded in the bomb dog community their presence was requested at many national events around the country.

Officer Williamson has 24 years of service with SPD. He was a K-9 officer from 1994 to August of 2002 with his K-9 partner “Jake”. As a team Craig and Jake were recognized for excellence. Craig is a masterful dog handler. To no one’s surprise he volunteered to be a bomb dog handler when the opportunity arose. In May of 2003 Craig traveled to the ATF K-9 training center in Front Royal, Virginia where he was partnered with Freddie. They underwent 10 weeks of intensive training. This training and bonding process was full time, seven days a week and they actually lived together in the same room. It was truly a 24/7 relationship. They formed a strong bond and developed into the perfect team. They returned to Seattle together in July of 2003 and went right to work.

Craig and Freddie were assigned to the Arson/Bomb Squad and quickly came to be relied upon to perform many roles in support of bomb squad missions. Craig was always looking for ways they could assist us during call outs or training scenarios. They were truly considered to be an integral part of the Arson/Bomb Squad.

K9 Freddie shows off his sniffer

K-9 Freddie shows off his sniffer

Officer Williamson and K9 Freddie at the North Precinct picnic, 2008

Officer Williamson and K-9 Freddie at the North Precinct picnic, 2008