Hockey game to honor slain K-9 officer Axe

Jan. 19 contest features local cops at Civic Arena

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published January 11, 2019




ST. CLAIR SHORES — When the puck drops Jan. 19, it won’t just be for a great game of hockey, it will be a way to remember and honor St. Clair Shores’ slain K-9 officer, Axe.

Officers from St. Clair Shores, Clinton Township and Sterling Heights will don skates and pads Jan. 19 at St. Clair Shores Civic Arena for a game against the Michigan Warriors Hockey Program to honor the life and service of Axe.

Axe served as a police K-9 for two years before being killed by gunfire during an arrest Nov. 4. His handler, Officer Thomas Price, and his family will be at the ceremonial puck drop at 4:30 p.m. to start the game.

The game came together because of an idea from Daniel Rader, the Michigan Warriors program liaison and team manager for the Metro Division.

“I work in federal law enforcement as well. I’m in the process of starting the K-9 unit for our department,” he said.

Living in Harrison Township, he had heard about Axe’s death and, since the Michigan Warriors play a lot of charity games, he thought it would be good to raise money for safety equipment for other police dogs.

He contacted the Officer Collin Rose Memorial Foundation, and both organizations brought the idea to the city of St. Clair Shores.

“We had gotten to know a lot of the officers over the (past) two years. Axe’s loss, we felt more than some other losses,” said Chris Powell, president of the Officer Collin Rose Memorial Foundation.

Rose was a St. Clair Shores resident and Wayne State University police K-9 officer killed during a street investigation in November 2016.

Tickets for the game cost $10 and are available in advance at St. Clair Shores Civic Arena, 20000 Stephens St., or online at Tickets are also available at the door.

Rader said the proceeds will go to the city to build a memorial for Axe, and to the Officer Collin Rose Memorial Foundation to provide first-aid kits to K-9 handlers in Michigan.

Along with the game, there will be raffles, including Detroit Red Wings memorabilia as well as gifts and gift baskets from businesses across the city. There will also be Axe memorial hockey pucks sold for $5 each at the event.

The $10 ticket will grant entry to the main event game, as well as a game the Michigan Warriors are playing against a special-needs team, the Far Flyers, beforehand and the St. Clair Shores Lakers high school hockey game afterward.

“It’s going to be a great time. We’re expecting a huge crowd, so arrive early,” Rader said.

Powell said it’s a good chance to pay tribute to Axe’s service.

“We’re going to make sure another dog has a vest in Axe’s memory, and a buddy bag,” he said. “We’re looking forward to a fun event.”

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