Patrol Officer Eric Koepke and K9 Valor
On June 26, 2016, Officer Koepke and K9 Valor responded to Temple Street in order to assist in the arrest of a violent subject armed with a weapon who was sought for domestic violence, two counts of kidnapping, and criminal sexual conduct. As police surrounded the house, the suspect escaped from the residence. A nearby officer radioed Officer Koepke, advising him that the suspect was jumping a backyard fence and fleeing in his direction; Valor was released, pursuing and quickly apprehending the suspect. Using a trained canine in this manner neutralizes the threat posed by a violent criminal, while keeping officers and the community out of harm’s way.
K9 Valor is five years old, and is certified through a six hundred hour K9 Academy as a dual-purpose K9, which includes narcotics detection, criminal apprehension, evidence and article search, and tracking suspects and missing persons. Over the last few months, P03 Koepke and K9 Valor have worked relentlessly with a local shipping company to detect and seize a large quantity of illegal drugs. Their teamwork has put a large dent into the supplying and dealing of illegal drugs in upstate South Carolina.
Another example of their success occurred during a routine traffic stop on March 5th. A male suspect fled on foot, dropping approximately half a pound of marijuana near the scene of the stop. Within minutes, Officer Koepke and K9 Valor responded and began to track the suspect, locating him underneath an unsuspecting resident’s back porch. More generally, we can measure this team’s accomplishments by the drugs they’ve detected. Between January and July, this K9 team has produced impressive statistics: eighty-six canine call-outs for assistance have resulted in twenty-four arrests. Officer Koepke and Valor have found 52.9 pounds of drugs (marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamines), and seized $69,737 in alleged drug trafficking funds.
Officer Koepke’s work exemplifies the Greenville Police Department’s core values of courage, conscientiousness, excellence, and collaboration. Whenever and wherever he is needed, Officer Koepke assists his platoon and the police department. His work ethic and quality leadership set an example for his peers. His actions are intentional, thoughtful, and are calculated to make a positive difference for our agency.
Officer Koepke has been with the Greenville Police for eight years. He was selected for the K9 Unit in 2012, and his team is assigned to provide support to the 200 Platoon. Officer Koepke and K9 Valor have been a canine team for GPD since April 2013; they recertify annually through the North American Police Work Dog Association.