UPDATE: Gallia County K9 Officer Retires

By: Lauren Schmoll Email
By: Lauren Schmoll Email

UPDATE 1/31/13 @ 6:15 p.m.
GALLIA COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Thursday marks the end of an era for Sgt. Richard Harrison and the Gallia County Sheriff's Department.

“You can't ask for a better partner,” Harrison said.

For six years, Harrison and his K9, Jeck, have patrolled the streets of Gallia County.

“He's with me 24 hours a day,” Harrison said. “When we go to work, it's between 12 and 16 hours a day. Everywhere I go he's there.”

But Thursday was Jeck’s last day on the job.

“What do you think it'll be like that first day without him?” WSAZ.com asked.

“Very lonely,” Harrison said. “It's like losing an appendage.”

You might remember Jeck. He's been on our air before. Two years ago to the day, we spoke with Harrison after Jeck came home from the hospital, when he was stabbed in the neck by a fleeing suspect.

“He doesn't quit,” Harrison said. “He won't quit. When he came out of the woods and was bleeding profusely, he still wanted to go back.”

Though he recovered, Jeck's injuries still affect him today. Harrison doubts Jeck would be retiring if he hadn't been hurt.

“We've noticed that he's slowing down now,” Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning said. “His look has changed. He's significantly grayer. He's just becoming an older dog.”

Jeck's trainer says police dogs age about four years faster than normal pets.

“Because of the stuff they go through,” Steven Heater said. “The wear and tear. Riding in the car. It's constant movement on their joints. The adrenaline they go through.”

Still, Harrison says retirement will not come easy to Jeck.

“He loves do go to work,” Harrison said. “When you're putting that uniform on, he's there waiting by the door to go to work.”

“What's that going to be like-- when he doesn't get to go anymore?” WSAZ.com asked.

“He's probably going to be agitated,” Harrison said.

GALLIA COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- It's been less than two weeks, but Jeck, a Gallia County Sheriff K-9, is recovering.

Jeck is also back to work with his handler, Sgt. Richard Harrison.

"You can't ask for a better friend. As far as the other officers around here, they love having him around. You can't beat having a dog around," Harrison said.

Jeck was stabbed while tracking Kelley Krebs, who was allegedly on the run after assaulting an officer in Vinton County, stealing another K-9 unit and Vinton County Sheriff's Office SUV, then fleeing into Meigs County.

Jeck has also served as a witness in the case against his alleged stabber, because assaulting a K-9 unit is a felony in the fourth degree.

According to Harrison, the testimony showed Jeck's two stab wounds to the neck.

His testimony also highlighted how Jeck continued to track Krebs, even after suffering two life-threatening injuries.

The injuries however, are not stopping Jeck from working.

"He wants to work. It bothers him more to sit at home than to be working," Harrison said.

Jeck is working on light duty, which means he'll only be sniffing out drugs, but Harrison is confident he'll be back soon.

"It puts a damper on some things, but if him being off duty to rest up and be better prepared for when he does come back to work, that's the most important thing,” Harrison said.

Harrison expects Jeck to return to normal duty in eight to 10 weeks.

Krebs has been charged with felonious assault, kidnapping, and grand theft of a police SUV.

Krebs bond was set at $1 million last week in Vinton County.

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