K-9 lost in the line of duty

Published 10:29 am Monday, December 4, 2017

The Bell County Sheriff’s Department lost one of their own on the evening of Dec. 3.

K-9 Unit Kane was struck by oncoming traffic while on duty.

Sheriff Mitch Williams gave a statement regarding the tragic loss.

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“It’s of course a sad day for us here at the Bell County Sheriff’s Office. It’s actually devastating to our officers and especially our K-9 handler Deputy James Taulbee,” said Williams.

Kane was a two-year-old Malinois and was certified in narcotics tracking and evidence search.

William went to describe the events that took place that led to Kane’s passing.

“Deputy James Taulbee and K-9 Kane were requested by the Kentucky State Police at Post 10 for assistance with a traffic stop on U.S. 25E on the Bell County and Knox County line. Upon Taulbee’s arrival…he deployed K-9 Kane on the stopped vehicle. Kane gave a positive alert on the vehicle indicating a controlled substance was possibly present inside. At that point Taulbee rewards Kane for the indication by giving him his ball,” said Williams.

Williams went on the explain that the person driving the vehicle, identified as Romero Norris, 38, of Louisville, allegedly became non-compliant by refusing to exit from his vehicle. At this time Kane was back in the patrol unit. Norris was arrested by KSP Trooper Joey Brigmon. The vehicle was then searched by Brigmon and another KSP Trooper Greg Hill. The troopers located several baggies which contained a clear, crystal rock substance, a leafy, green substance, digital scales, several glass smoking pipes and various items of drug paraphernalia.

Williams stated that at this time Kane was redeployed for a further search of the vehicle. Kane strongly indicated on the front drivers side fender.

“Deputy Taulbee again rewarded Kane with his ball. Kane struck the ball with his nose, causing it to bounce off of the suspect’s vehicle and back toward the roadway. Kane then lunged into the roadway and was struck by oncoming traffic,” said Williams.

Kane passed away during transport to the Harrogate Hospital for Animals.

“We’re actually going through a grieving process…the bond between a K-9 handler and his dog is beyond what we can comprehend. He depends on that dog every day. They depend on each other to keep each other safe. They’re together 24 hours, seven days a week…there’s a bond there I can’t describe to you and there’s a pain there I can’t describe to you for Deputy Taulbee. We grieve for him,” said Williams.

Norris was charged with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and menacing.