Ruston Daily Leader by Nancy Bergeron
The Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement will honor slain Lincoln Parish Sheriff ’s Office K-9 Sgt. Boco during ceremonies Thursday in Baton Rouge.
Boco died Aug. 17, 2018, from gunshot wounds sustained while protecting his fellow officers during a manhunt. The 6-year-old Belgian Malinois had been with the LPSO almost three years.
Boco’s handler, LPSO Lt. Kyle Luker, will receive a plaque honoring the K-9’s service during an LCLE Medal of Honor ceremony recognizing law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty during 2018.
Boco will be only the second K-9 honored by the Commission on Law Enforcement, LCLE Executive Director Jim Craft said.
“As in all line-of-duty deaths, it’s the ultimate sacrifice,” Craft said about Boco. “The dog was trained to protect and serve.”
The LPSO issued a statement Tuesday thanking the commission for recognizing their fallen colleague.
In February, the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association named Boco the LVMA’s Pet of the Year for his “courage, skill and loyal devotion to duty, and in keeping with the highest standards of law enforcement.”
Boco is credited with saving his handler’s life twice, as well as the lives of other deputies.
In August 2017, Luker was shot while conducting a traffic stop. A bulletproof vest protected :ule from injury.
As Luker was still fighting with the suspect, he was able to remotely release Boco from his patrol car.
Boco engaged the suspect, giving Luker time to draw and fire his own weapon.
Then came the August 2018 manhunt. The incident began on Aug. 17 in Monroe when Vincent D. Roberson, of Monroe, fled after shooting his girlfriend.
Roberson reportedly ditched his truck that evening behind a residence on Chandler Road, in a rural area of each Lincoln Parish and ran into the woods.
That’s when Boco was sent in to aid in the search.
Shortly afterward, deputies heard a volley of gunfire but couldn’t find Boco. ThoughtRoberson was caught several hourslater, deputies continued to look for Boco.
They found his body about 3:45 a.m. Aug. 18.
Roberson was subsequently charged with aggravated cruelty to animals. In June of this year, 3rd Judicial District Judge Jeff Robinson sentenced Roberson to 10 years of hard labor plus $5,000 and court costs.