Remembering the Life, Service + Legacy of K9 Chance

Remembering the Life, Service + Legacy of K9 Chance

Salute to Service is brought to you by United States Senate Federal Credit Union

Story by Liesel Schmidt | Photography Courtesy of Alexandria Police Department

When we think of the police forces that stand in service to our cities, we think of men and women in uniform, brave individuals who swear an oath to defend the people within their communities against crime, violence and danger. We think of their sacrifices and selflessness, their dedication and bravery in knowing what they sign up for when they put on their uniform.

Their service is remembered and acknowledged—saluted, even. We memorialize and celebrate them. We mourn their losses. But there are still some heroes whose service goes largely unrecognized: the dogs who are trained to be ready for whatever might be waiting and accompany teams on calls.

Serving faithfully as a member of the Alexandria Police Department for eight years, K9 Chance was born on January 19, 2010, in Czechia and joined the force in February of 2011 at 13 months old. To meet the needs of his job as a police K9, his initial training for patrol included hundreds of hours of training in obedience, tracking, building searches, evidence searches, area searches and handler protection. He later continued his training by becoming a narcotics detection K9, in addition to becoming a member of the Special Operations Team and serving as an SOT K9 for five years, during which time he assisted on search warrants and tactical operations throughout the city of Alexandria.

Four years after retiring in 2019, Chance crossed the rainbow bridge on November 20, 2023. “Even after retirement, he never lost the drive to come to work,” says Sergeant Kyle Russel, K9-Unit/Special Operations Division and Chance’s partner. “Chance loved to jump into the police cruiser and come into work with my new K9 partner, Taz, and bark at people as if he was still working. He also loved to visit the K9 facility for baths and run around and see the other handlers in our unit.”

Chance received numerous awards and recognitions throughout his career, including six consecutive triple crown awards from the United States Police Canine Association for certifying in Patrol, Tracking, and Narcotics detection all within the same year, from 2013 to 2018. He also received the 2016 United States Police Canine Association's Case of the Quarter award nationally for his work in locating a discarded firearm hidden in the woods that had been used in the robbery and shooting of a taxi driver.


“He’ll be most remembered for his ability to be extremely intimidating and highly protective over those he loved. However, once he got to know you, he was extremely loving and affectionate. He was loved by so many people who had the honor of getting to know him.”

-Sergeant Kyle Russell


“Chance had an incredible nose and was responsible for the location of evidence dozens of times, including multiple firearms and countless narcotics seizures and was instrumental in the apprehensions and arrests of violent offenders,” Russel says.

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