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KCPD Mourns Deaths Of Officer James Muhlbauer & K-9 Officer Champ

Publish Date 02/16/2023


Officer James Muhlbauer and his partner, K-9 Officer Champ, were killed in the line of duty the night of Feb. 15.

Muhlbauer and Champ were in their patrol vehicle when a vehicle crashed into them near the intersection of Truman Rd. and Benton Blvd. shortly after 10:15 p.m.

Champ died at the scene. A pedestrian was also struck after the collision and that pedestrian, a man in his 50s, died at the scene too.

Muhlbauer was transported to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, where doctors treated him, but were unable to save him. Muhlbauer died at the hospital.

Muhlbauer, 42, was a 20-year veteran of KCPD, serving his entire career in patrol, including the last three years in the K-9 Unit. Champ, a Dutch Shepard, was 3-years-old and joined KCPD a year ago.

Champ also lived with Muhlbauer and his family. Muhlbauer was married and a father. KCPD asks the public to pray for Muhlbauer’s family and to give them privacy.

KCPD is asking the public to please pray for the family of the pedestrian who died in the crash.

KCPD thanks everyone, fellow law enforcement agencies and elected officials included, for their condolences and assistance during this difficult time.

The crash is under investigation, including the possibility of impaired driving by the driver of the striking vehicle. Once complete, the case will be submitted to the prosecutor’s office for review.

KCPD is working on funeral arrangements and will share them when they are ready. The public is invited to lay flowers on a patrol vehicle parked in honor of Muhlbauer and Champ in front of Police Headquarters at 1125 Locust St.

Muhlbauer is the first KCPD officer to die in the line of duty since May of 2001.