by Michelle Frost
One very special police dog is being memorialized this summer by sculptor Richard Moore. Moore lives and works in SE Portland.
This story begins last spring, in the early morning of April 16, 2014.
Responding to a burglary in progress, K9 officer Jeff Dorn and his police dog, Mick, were shot with an AR-15 rifle by a suspect escaping the scene. Mick was killed and Officer Dorn was shot in both legs. Despite his injuries, Dorn was able to help with the containment and capture of three suspects who were later convicted of multiple charges.
Several K-9 teams lined a police procession on May 12, 2014 to honor Mick, the police dog killed in the line of duty. Officer Dorn spoke at the event about his canine partner. “Mick lived and died not only a puppy but as the hero of my heart,” according to KOIN 6 news website.
When Moore heard this story he felt moved to create a portrait of Mick to donate to the police department.
“I contacted them to offer a portrait of Mick, from the collar up. They loved the idea. They talked it over and decided they wanted a full dog,” Moore explains, “They wanted a full size sculpture (of Mick).”
The sculpture being created in Moore’s studio is 1-1/4 x life size, an impressive ‘larger than life’ memorial to Mick who was young when he died, but revered and accomplished in his short career.
Working from two photographs of Mick’s face and head, and piecing together the torso and legs from photographs of two other canine officers, Moore has been working for 4-5 months.
“The clay is almost done,” he says The next steps will be to make molds, get the molds to the foundry (“2-3 months depending on how backed up the foundry is”), and then to finish the bronze statue.
Moore keeps the copy of K-9 Cop magazine covering the story of officers Dorn and Mick. “It wasn’t just a local story, it made national news,” he states.
Since a bronze sculpture is more involved than the initial portrait Moore offered to donate, the police department and private donors are helping to cover some of the expense. Total costs may reach $15,000 and donations are appreciated. (If anyone is interested www.gofundme.com/9d2crd3n)
At Tom McCall Waterfront Park, just south of the Hawthorne Bridge, there is a police memorial plaza where fallen officers are honored with name plates set into a curved brick wall.
According to www.oregonlive.com, all 29 names were read aloud at the Portland Police Bureau’s Police Memorial Ceremony on Tuesday, May 12.
Moore would like this statue of Mick to find a permanent home at the police memorial plaza. “Officer Dorn would like to see Mick put there too,” Moore reports. “It’s a city park but I can’t imagine they would have a problem with it.”
With approval from the city, he anticipates an unveiling memorial event for the fallen canine officer as soon as the sculpture is finished later this year.
Moore is a native to Portland and holds a Fine Art degree from Portland State University.
For more information about Richard Moore’s art and the upcoming event to honor Mick, see his website: www.richardamoore3.com.