ETX canine police officer passes away after 8-yr service - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

ETX canine police officer passes away after 8-yr service

KILGORE, TX (KLTV) -

He helped make dozens of arrests, and now, a longtime East Texas police canine officer is being remembered.

Kilgore K9 Officer Jeroen died early this morning from an enlarged gall bladder, and a heart condition.

He was 12-yrs old. Jeroen served as a service dog for eight years at the Kilgore Police Department.

During that time he placed in the top ten finishers multiple times at a national police competition.

"He did a good job for us, I think it's evident when you look at the arrests he's made the tracks he's made and the amount of narcotics he recovered," says Kilgore Police Captain, Roman Roberson.

Certified for a dual purpose, Jeroen had several duties says Roberson, "He was trained in both in tracking people he was also trained in drug detection."

Recovering more than two hundred and seventy pounds of marijuana, and making over ninety arrests, Jeroen had a successful 8-yr long career.

"You won't have better service and sacrifice than you will from a K9," says Roberson.

Working with Officer Middlebrooks, Jeroen went through weekly training to become a successful police dog,"They probably spend more time with their K9's than with their spouses, so they definitely have a strong bond," says Roberson.

Loosing Jeroen has been hard for Middlebrooks and the whole department. "Jeroen was a phenomenal dog, had a great personality, he's going to be missed here," says Canine Coordinator at the Kilgore Police Department, David Falco.  

This last Saturday,Middlebrooks noticed Jerone was lethargic. After further testing, they found out it was too late.

"We sent for an EKG and an ultrasound of the abdomen and found a very enlarged gall bladder and some secondary heart conditions going on at the same time," says Jeroen's Veterinarian, Robert Thoni.

But it's the hard work and dedication that Jeroen leaves behind.

"Some dogs are intelligent enough to pick this work up, and some dogs aren't, not every dog can be a police service dog," says Falcon.

Placing in nationals twice proves Jeroen's natural ability.  

"Jeroen cannot be, that dog cannot be replaced, their was only one Jeroen and we're going to miss him," says Falcon.

Jeroen was hand-picked to attend K9 police training in The Netherlands back in 2001.

And served the City of Kilgore from 2004 to 2012.

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