Hope – Police officers, civilians and Police Service Dog handlers will be paying tribute to fallen Police Service Dog Chip on September 13, 2021 marking the 25th Anniversary of his death.
Memorial Park, Hope, BC
Sept. 13, 2021, 11 a.m.
RCMP Police Service Dog (PSD) Chip paid the ultimate sacrifice on September 13, 1996 when he and his handler were tracking a suspect who fled from police. Chip and his Police Service Dog handler, Constable Doug Lewis, then an eighteen-year veteran of the RCMP were called to assist in apprehending a male suspect. The suspect resisted arrest and was aggressive and highly confrontational with police before he fled on foot into the bush. It is important to note that Cst. Lewis was off duty when the call for assistance was received. Even though he did not have his gun, radio, handcuffs or other police equipment with him, he answered the call placing himself and PSD Chip on duty. Lewis knew that he had backup in the form of members of the Emergency Response Team who were just minutes behind him.
Cst. Lewis and Chip entered the bush, tracking the suspect for approximately three kilometres before Chip found the suspect. While attempting to take the man into custody, he brandished a knife, lunged at Chip and began stabbing him repeatedly slicing his neck and severing his jugular vein. Despite his own injuries, PSD Chip continued to fight with the male as the attacker stabbed and punched his handler, Constable Lewis. The pair continued to fight hard and eventually Cst. Lewis was able to wrench the knife out of the attacker’s grip. The suspect fled back into the woods. Then, Cst. Lewis caught his last glimpse of his loyal friend and partner alive – Chip was glassy- eyed and bleeding heavily. Constable Lewis removed his shirt and tried to stop the bleeding but knew it was too late as he cradled his partner’s head and lifeless body.
A massive manhunt ensued which included thirty police officers, seven canine units and the RCMP helicopter. Five hours later, another RCMP Police Service Dog and his handler caught up with the man, and placed him under arrest.
During the attack, Cst. Lewis suffered nine stab wounds to his face, arms and chest, requiring more than fifty stitches. Cst. Doug Lewis will forever be indebted to his partner and friend Chip who paid the ultimate sacrifice laying down his own life to protect his handler’s.
Chip’s heroic actions and bravery captured the hearts of the community. In 2002, the citizens of Hope erected a monument in Chip’s honour. Located at Memorial Park, it depicts Chip standing on a mountainside with a plaque at the base which reads, “This carving has been erected in the lasting memory of Royal Canadian Mounted Police Service Dog Chip, killed in the line of duty near Hope, British Columbia, September 13, 1996, while protecting his partner and friend, Constable Doug Lewis.”
Chip is featured on the Canadian Police Canine Association’s “Valour Row.” Tragically, Chip has recently been joined by RCMP Police Service Dogs Gator and Jago who were both killed in the line of duty earlier this year.