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The Four Paws of Justice Turns EIGHT!


Now a little grey around the snoot, K9 Sultan is truly a distinguished gentlemen - but he will ALWAYS be MY baby doll. A furry baby doll…who wasn’t nearly as excited about his Baby Boy birthday photo shoot as I was…

As it turns out, lacy baby bonnets are not sized for 100lb German Shepherds - a deficiency I’ve pointed out to the manufacturer. And Sultan refused to take the binky I bought for him - a training issue I’ll be addressing with his handler.

The entire celebration was made possible by the magic force field of control known as a the B-A-L-L. And while he slobbered instantly at the sight of his birthday cake I don’t think it even touched his tongue. I have never seen $10 disappear so fast.

This birthday Fur Missile was born in the Netherlands. At 14 months old our Dutch Prince first laid eyes on his forever best friend: WPD Officer Kirti Vithalani.

To Baby Sultan, Kirti was just 10 chewable fingers that withheld treats. To Kirti, Sultan was just a goofy puff ball who hadn’t grown into his legs - but damned if he didn’t have the work drive of a champion.

Already named Sultan, Kirti tried to retitle him as “Bacon.” This, ladies and gentlemen, is why we usually don’t let men name babies. Or anything.

Thankfully, Mrs. Vithalani put her husband in his *own* kennel and snuck Sultan some cheese as an apology. She’s been sneaking him cheese ever since.

Together they trained daily until Sultan could sniff out even the smallest amount of dope and play hide-and-seek with the dummest of criminals - winning every time. On their days off they compete in who can snore louder during naps. The undefeated title is held by Kirti.

They are responsible for the capture of murders and have kept countless officers safer by deploying Sultan’s sniff and set of legs, which no one can outrun.

Sultan’s outstanding tracking abilities made him a star on “Live PD: K9 Patrol,” though I would argue his spotlight in “24 Hr. PD” was the start of his fame (**pats self on back**).

After 22 years as a K9 handler and 30 years on the street, Officer Kirti is ready to retire and so is Sultan. While we are all happy for them I’d be lying if I said the “bitter” part of bittersweet seems particularly heavy here.

Throughout all of our careers co-workers come and go, many of whom we’d like to help out the door. And then there are the select few who are simply exceptional both in their work and in how they treat us. With them we have hours of war stories and it seems unreasonable to think that there could ever be a last chapter.

That’s Kirti. And by default, Sultan.

They are an iconic part of the Wilmington Police Department and frankly, we all got the better part of the deal in life to have worked with them professionally and known them personally. Kirti is a living example of what it means to be fully committed to family while selflessly serving this community.

They have been reassigned to a new mission: the couch. And…driving Mrs. Vithalani absolutely insane.

It would be selfish to demand any more of their time - there are five grandbabies at home who are more excited to see Grandpa then they are Santa.

When Kirti receives his retirement plaque it will include his badge along with those of his pawed partners throughout his career: Sultan, Arko, Cyndi and Bruno. That’s a legacy of law enforcement which leaves very big boots and paw prints to fill.

So I hope you will join me tonight and all of tomorrow in absolutely FLOODING these two with birthday wishes and congratulations on the Wilmington K9 Unit: There you can also meet the whole team: Dave/Maxx, Kendall/Dex, Dave/Jacco PLUS…the soon-to-be-announced new pup to the force!



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