What's in a Name? New UAPD K-9 Officer's Name Has Its Own Tale

UAPD K-9 Officer Rickie
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UAPD K-9 Officer Rickie

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Rickie is the newest member of the University of Arkansas Police Department’s K-9 squad. He’s a year old Belgian Malinois, trained for narcotics detection and campus patrol. He is replacing Dingo, who retired from the department this year.

Rickie was trained and donated to the UAPD – but not named -- by Sgt. Jeff Shetlar, who supervises the four dogs and officers in the UAPD K-9 unit.

Rickie was named in honor of a long-time U of A donor – Rick Edwards – in one of the more unusual “naming” agreements at the university. You might even say, one of the nicest.

“When I heard that UAPD was looking for a new dog, I knew I had found the best opportunity to recognize my father and the wonderful things he has done for the U of A,” said Roderick Edwards, Rick’s son. “I knew he would get a kick out of a police dog being named after him: Rickie.”

Rick Edwards and his wife are members of the Towers of Old Main, a giving society comprising benefactors recognized for their long history of making substantial donations to the University of Arkansas. Edwards is also an Air Force veteran with a lifetime of connections to the military and law enforcement — most recently his work with the U.S. Marshal Service Museum in Fort Smith.

He and his wife founded Triple-S Alarm in Little Rock. And he loves dogs: in his spare time he used to breed Portuguese Water Dogs.

Roderick Edwards contacted the UAPD and was put in touch with Director Steve Gahagans. Edwards offered to make a small donation in exchange for “naming rights.” The donatation will be used to help feed and care for the department's K-9 officers.

It was an unusual offer – but it wasn’t a tough sell.

“We’re always happy to receive support from people in the community,” said Gahagans. “And Rickie’s name fits him. It’s a good name for a good dog.”

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Contacts

Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
University Relations
479-575-3583, voorhies@uark.edu

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