At a special retirement ceremony in honor of over 8 years of dedicated service to the citizens of St. Johns County, Historic City Media was there with Sheriff David Shoar, K-9 Handler Deputy Doug Kowieski and City Commissioner Frank Charles to recognize a third generation police canine named “Justice”.
Charles, who is still part of Pet Paradise, a business which he built, was in attendance on behalf of Mr. Fred Goldsmith, Chief Executive Officer of the company, to make a generous donation of $6,000.00 – the expected cost of acquisition and training of a replacement canine deputy expected to be in service within the coming weeks.
The new canine will be assigned to work as a drug detection and tracking dog, according to Deputy Kowieski. The new Labrador Retriever is supposed to be blond and about 14 to 18 months old upon arrival. Since the new canine deputy will be assigned with a handler in one of our local schools, the students are participating in giving a name to the yet un-named officer.
Justice’s first handler was Deputy Joey Romer, and Justice has worked in the St. Johns County Schools as a Youth Resources Deputy K-9 since 1999. Deputy Kowieski was assigned to work with Justice in 2003 and Justice will spend his retirement years together with Deputy Kowieski.
Romer also worked with Justice’s father “Trigger” and his grandfather “Brutus” who were all police canines. Justice brings to an end a line of police dogs that have served St. Johns County for over 15 years.
During Justice’s service to the Sheriff’s Office, he has performed over 300 demonstrations for over 20,000 citizens, but today, he got to demonstrate for those of us in the media how fond he is of his favorite toy … a yellow tennis ball.
Justice provided over 3000 “drug sniffs” that have led to over 100 misdemeanor and 50 felony arrests as well as the seizure of about $5,000.00 in cash and the removal of about 300 grams of drugs from our schools.
Photo credit: Historic City Media – News Department photos