COLORADO SPRINGS — A procession was held Tuesday morning for a K9 officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty.
The K9 officer’s name was ‘Jinx’ and he worked with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. He was three years old and had been serving with the department since March 2020.
The procession to honor him, began at Animal ER Care on North Nevada, and it ended at the El Paso County Sherif’s Office in downtown Colorado Springs.
It was a somber morning as dozens of people showed up from different law enforcement agencies as well as the community, to show their support for Jinx.
“It's very sad for everyone in the office, because he is a member of our family and a member of this community,” said Lt. James Vidmar, with the sheriff’s office, who also mentioned, “I do not believe we lost a K9 officer in the line of duty like this, ever. There have been other K9s who have passed after they’ve retired or have been involved in accidents, but I believe this is the first for our organization, in circumstances like this.”
Jinx was one of four K9 officers who serve with the sheriff’s office. They’re all valuable members to the team, and know Jinx’s loss moving forward will make a big impact.
"The K9s can do things a human officer can't do as far as location of narcotics or controlled substances, Locations of items that may belong to a person, or a person themselves,” said Lt. Vidmar.
Tom Cordova was also at the procession. He’s a volunteer with the El Paso County K9 Unit and helped train Jinx.
“I've actually worked with him from the time they first got him (Jinx), until a couple weeks ago was the last time I trained with him. It's really heart wrenching knowing that an incredible dog is now gone,” said Cordova.
When it’s the end of watch for any officer, including a K9, the community comes together, and that was exactly what happened on Tuesday morning.
“It was amazing. It was awesome seeing how many people came out and paid their respects to Jinx,” said Cordova. “All these people came out, they knew what kind of dog he was, and how big of an impact he had on the entire sheriff community. I’m going to miss him. He was an awesome dog. He was my favorite personally, so he’s definitely going to be missed.”
“A lot of members of the community and other law enforcement agencies all came together to honor his service, which I think shows the community that we do all stand together,” said Lt. Vidmar. “There will certainly be a void filled operationally, but I think the bigger void is with every member of the organization. It just feels like a tremendous loss for both our organization and our family and our community."
The sheriff’s office is also sending their condolences to Jinx’s handler, Deputy Hancock, and their family.