August 16th Update: Traffic Crash Kills Niceville Police K-9, Puts Officer in Hospital

Memorial Service Details

August 16th Update: K-9 Blue’s funeral arrangements have changed, according to Christopher Forrester, the Niceville Police Department Representative for the service. 

The funeral will now take place at the Mattie Kelly Theater at Northwest Florida State College. 

The service will still be held at August 26th at 10:00 am. 

Additionally, there will be a procession on August 26th at 10 AM from the Bluewater Animal Hospital to the Niceville Community Center. The procession will pass under the Niceville High School Pedestrian Overpass. 

Initial Update 8:00 AM August 8th

A traffic crash late Sunday, August 7th claimed the life of a police canine and put a Niceville Police Officer in the hospital – Chief David Popwell confirmed Sunday night.


The dog’s handler, Sgt. Phillip Ritcheson was transported to the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries after the crash – which took place on Highway 85. 


The team was en route to report for duty when the crash took place. 


The accident is being investigated by the Florida Highway Patrol, according to a press release from the Niceville Police Department. 


Details of a memorial service will be announced in the near future. 


We will add more details to the story as they become available. 

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