By Kyle Whiteman
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – On Thursday, a memorial was held in Gloucester Township Park in Blackwood for fallen police K-9 Schultz. A procession of police cars and motorcycles started at the Chews Landing Veterinary Hospital in Laurel Springs and ended up at the park. The parade arrived around 2 p.m., with the ceremony to follow.
While bagpipes played, the family of Cpl. Mark Pickard, Schultz’s handler, arrived at the memorial that included the honor guard and gun salute. As hundreds of people gathered among a full police force and dozens of K-9 units from the tri-state area, Schultz received a full police memorial service.
The memorial finished with Gloucester Township Police Chief Harry Earle presenting the ceremonial American flag to Pickard.
Tyler Pickard, 20, son of Cpl. Pickard, explained how Schultz was a loving pet and a protector of the community.
“Schultz came in 10th place at the USPCA (United States Police Canine Association) national field trial,” said Tyler, who has a picture of him and Schultz on his FaceBook page. “They (his dad and Schultz) trophied (two first places for obedience and tracking, second place in agility, with a second overall finish) in this year’s Region 6 USPCA trial.”
Schultz was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 30. A robbery was called in at the Lucky Dragon Restaurant on Church Street in Blackwood, and Cpl. Pickard and Schultz arrived on the scene.
Schultz picked up the scent and was let loose to apprehend the suspect. When confronting the suspect, Skyler Robinson, 20, Robinson got a hold of Shultz and threw him into traffic, killing the dog instantly, police said.
A manhunt ensued as numerous police departments from the area searched and apprehended Robinson. The second suspect, Evan Scotese, 19, was arrested early in the morning Dec. 1.