CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Two K9 officers from the Tri-State who were killed in the line of duty in 2022 were honored Thursday at a memorial service in Washington D.C.

K-9 Drago (FCSO)

The National Police Dog Foundation hosted the 5th Annual Police K9 Memorial Service as part of National Police Week to honor the 25 K9s across the country killed in the line of duty in 2022. Two of the fallen K9s honored were Floyd County Sheriff’s Office K9 Drago and Charleston Police Department K9 Axel.

Deputy Dusty Newsome, K9 handler for the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office attended the ceremony, laying a rose on the memorial in Drago’s honor. Drago was killed on June 30, 2022 in Allen, Kentucky, during an ambush-style shootout with a suspect. Floyd County Deputy William Petry and Prestonsburg Police Captain Ralph Frasure were also killed during the shooting, and Prestonsburg Police Officer Jacob Chaffins died of his injuries the following day.

CPD K9 Axel, Ptlm Clendenin (CPD)

“FCSO is proud of our K9 handler Deputy Dusty Newsome for attending today’s ceremony in Washington DC and honoring our beloved K9 “Drago,” the FCSO said in a Facebook post. “Drago was one of twenty-five police K9s killed in 2022 and was honored today by having their name and end of watch inscribed in stone and will forever be on display at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington DC.”

Charleston PD Axel was shot and killed in the line of duty on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022, saving his partner, Patrolman Josh Clendenin, and Patrolman Childress while chasing an armed suspect. The suspect fired his gun, striking and killing Axel. Officers then returned fire at the suspect, who later died at the hospital.

CPD Patrolman Clendenin also attended the ceremony, laying a rose on the memorial as Axel’s name was read.

The ceremony also included laying a wreath at the memorial to honor all of the K9s killed in the line of duty followed by a moment of silence. You can watch the full ceremony on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s Facebook page here.