Canine Officers play a vital role in law enforcement agencies across the world. With specialized training canines and humans develop a relationship, trust and an unmatched bond to protect each other. These officers face the same dangers as a uniformed police officer, chase the same suspects and investigate crimes alongside men and women in uniform. When one is lost in the line of duty the law enforcement community and their family mourn the same way. “God made guardian angels in all shapes and sizes ours just happen to be “Police Dogs”
In 1988, while assisting his partner, Officer Aubrey Lewis in a building search of a warehouse on Adams Street, Benno absorbed deadly chemicals through his paws. He was the first Jacksonville K-9 to die in the line of duty for the Jacksonville sheriff’s Office.
In July 1996, Titan, a 1-½ year old red-sable German Shepherd, traveled from Europe to join the K-9 Unit of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. He was paired with Officer E. R. Sullivan, a 12-year JSO veteran. Together they were responsible for 107 apprehensions, 12 engagements and the seizure of more than $38,000 in drug money. On July 10, 1999, Titan was fatally wounded while apprehending a suspect. In addition to ensuring the arrest of the suspect, Titan is credited with saving the lives of Sullivan and two other officers at the scene.
On June 16, 1999, while arresting an armed robbery/escaped prisoner, Quanto was shot and killed and his partner, Officer J.J. Thurne was shot in the hand. The suspect was later found guilty on all counts and sentenced to seven consecutive life terms. Quanto’s heroic actions that day saved Officer Thurne’s life. Quanto is also credited with over four hundred felony arrests during his two-year career at the Jacksonville sheriff’s Office.