Bellevue police dog is put down 03/21/2006 The Bellevue Police Department lost a valuable member of its police force last week. Blitz, a member of the department's K-9 Unit since the late 1990s, was put to sleep March 14 after becoming too hard to control. Blitz had attacked his partner, officer Jim Bartley, Police Chief John Stacey Jr. said. A neurological disorder common with the Belgian Shepherd Malinois breed is possibly to blame for the attack. Blitz and Bartley worked together on many assignments. In early November, Blitz successfully took down a burglar who was uncooperative and wielding a knife. The department is planning to retire another of its aging dogs, Falco, within the next year and a half, Stacey said. When that happens, Bellevue's canine contingent will be down to two. Some business sponsors have stepped in, and the department should be able to replace one of the two dogs in the near future, Stacey said. But funding for a fourth dog still is uncertain, he said. Bellevue has had a canine unit for at least 10 years, he said. A dog is on duty at all times, he said. They are used primarily for two things: helping to catch suspects and detecting drugs. "It's almost a daily basis now that we require a canine in some form," Stacey said. For example, he said, dogs were called twice March 14 - once for a traffic stop and the second for a burglary in progress. Dogs that are healthy and performing well usually can serve the department for up to 10 years, Stacey said. Getting a replacement dog can cost up to $10,000, including training and equipment costs, he said. If funding is not found for a fourth dog, Stacey said, the department will scale back its K-9 Unit. "We can't support it on our own," he said.