Yesterday evening Dee and I had to take our dog Mr. Barnaby to the vet. When we arrived, we noticed many police cars from numerous agencies in the parking lot. In addition, there were a large number of officers and deputies present, with most of them in a circle talking together.
Right away, Dee understood the situation. She had heard that early in the day, a local K-9 officer – a Belgian Malinois named Sjaak – had been shot. A man drove up alongside the police vehicle Sjaak was riding in on Murfreesboro Road and opened fire on Officer Justin Darby, who was uninjured. After a high speed chase, the shooter was killed in a shoot-out.
It was only after the shoot-out that Officer Darby discovered his K-9 partner had been shot and he was rushed to Murfreesboro Animal Hospital to undergo surgery. Sadly, Sjaak did not survive. As with most K-9 officers, Sjaak had chosen his human partner and they were closely bonded. They had served together for six years.
We watched from our car as the officers were informed and as they comforted one another in their loss. The K-9 officers who serve our communities are much loved by their human partners and these dogs love their work.
We live in the midst of wickedness and it’s a tough time to serve in law enforcement. Mindless and evil incidents like the death of K-9 Officer Sjaak should remind us that these men and women and their partner K-9 officers are here to serve and protect. They deserve our thanks, our support, and our admiration.
© Jeffery J. Michaels / Plain English Publications 2020
(Quotations allowed with attribution to this blog)