OCEAN CITY – The Ocean City Police Department is mourning the loss of a special dog, K-9 Semper, who succumbed to kidney failure on Dec. 17 after retiring from the department in September after nearly seven years of dedicated service.
Semper came to the Ocean City Police Department from the Czech Republic in February 2002, at which time he became a courageous and loyal partner to Pfc. Michael Richardson. Not long after retiring, the K-9 dog was stricken with kidney failure and died from the illness last month.
Semper spent over 1,000 hours in training and assisted in the detection of drugs in more than 250 incidents over the years. Perhaps one of his most significant discoveries involved the confiscation of over a kilogram and a half of cocaine. Semper’s exploits were often mentioned in local crime reporting.
For example, in May, a suspected drug trafficker targeted by the OCPD narcotics unit fled when he was being taken into custody, touching off a search in the downtown area before Semper discovered the suspect hiding under a sink in a vacant apartment. In another example from last August, a known drug dealer resisted arrest and fled in the area of 137th Street before Richardson and Semper were brought in and apprehended him.
“Semper was by far one of the best drug dogs we have ever had in this department,” said Richardson. “I am not saying that because he was my partner. He just loved to find drugs.”
Semper’s heroics were not limited to the Ocean City area. He also assisted U.S. Customs in the Port of Baltimore by searching large cargo ships for contraband and illegal substances. In addition to his patrol/narcotics duties, Semper also assisted in several high risk warrant arrests and was actively involved in supporting other law enforcement agencies on the Eastern Shore during drug seizures.
Semper also often assisted in crowd control situations and participated in a significant number of physical apprehensions involving violent suspects. When he was not working the beat, Semper often participated in demonstrations for local schools, summer camps and other activities in the community.
According to an official statement from the department, “Semper’s love for his job and his commitment to his community will be remembered by many. His hard work and his loyalty to his colleagues and citizens will be cherished forever.”