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Posted on: August 15, 2019

Passing of Retired MPD K-9 Awol

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RELEASED BY: Captain Christopher Jones

It is with heartfelt sadness that the members of the Marshalltown Police Department announce the passing of retired Police K-9 Awol, on August 13, 2019. Awol was 13 years old. He was a devoted and active member of the Marshalltown Police force from 2007 until his retirement in January 2013. Awol was led during his time of service by Sergeant Melinda Ruopp, who retired from full-time duty with the Marshalltown Police Department in September 2018 after 30 years of service.


K-9 Awol, a Czech Shepard, was born in 2006 in the Slavonia Republic. He received his formal patrol K-9 training at the St. Paul Police Department Canine Training Center in St. Paul, Minnesota and was personally trained by Sergeant Melinda Ruopp in Narcotic Detection. K-9 Awol successfully aided the Marshalltown Police Department in narcotics detection, tracking, officer protection, and evidence recovery throughout his 6-year career.    

During Awol’s time with our agency, he had a tremendous impact on the success of our Marshalltown Police Department’s K-9 program, both regionally and at the national level. The following is a small list of Sergeant Ruopp and K-9 Awol’s notable team accomplishments:    

37 – Criminal Apprehensions

66 – Building Searches both Interior and Exterior

29 – Suspect Tracks/Trailing

78 – Perimeter Prevention Assists for Patrol Officers

13 – Article Searches

18 – Area Searches for Suspects

50 – Alarm Response Calls

326 – Narcotics Searches (Vehicles, Residences, Schools, Areas)

50 – K9 Demonstrations in Marshalltown and surrounding communities.

5 – State of Iowa United States Police Canine Association Patrol Certifications, 1 Tracking Certification.

6 – State of Iowa United States Police Canine Association Narcotics Detection Certifications, 1st Place in several of these certifications.

1 – National United States Police Canine Association Narcotics Certification, placed 4th overall nationally.

Multiple Awards for Case of the Quarter; both at the National and State Levels.

Multiple Awards in the following categories: Obedience, Apprehension & Box Search.


During K-9 Awol’s career, he was credited with seizing $1,043,680 in narcotics, including Methamphetamine, Heroin, Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, Ice and Marijuana, as well as $113,169 in cash seizures.

The Marshalltown Police Department would like to extend our eternal gratitude to those members of our community who have extended their support of our K-9 program. Awol was a dedicated member of our agency and worked each and every day alongside Sergeant Ruopp to help make Marshalltown safe. K-9 Awol has honorably served as a member of the Marshalltown Police Department and will be missed! 

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