Cleveland Police Officer Commemorates Beloved K-9 Partner

'Everywhere I went, he had to be right there with me.'

Hey, you! Do you want to cry today? Yes? Great! Step on up and watch this video of Cleveland police officer Antonio Colon, a K-9 handler whose longtime partner, Jet Black, was put down after twelve years of service.

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"He put fear into criminals' minds, but love into the arms of a child," Colon said at a ceremony attended by the entire Cleveland Division of Police. In declining health at 13 1/2 years of age, Jet had been energetic enough to maintain active duty until late February, when his health declined enough that he had to be euthanized. reported that Jet Black was one of the longest-serving members of the Cleveland Police K-9 Unit, and participated in drug busts and the arrest of violent criminals. But he was a gentle soul at heart, once letting fifty kids covered in pizza grease pet his face, said police spokeswoman Jennifer Ciaccia.

He would also sleep in the hallway outside Colon's bedroom, keeping watch.

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"He was my shadow," said Colon in his eulogy, his voice audibly cracking. "Everywhere I went, he had to be right there with me, by my side. He showed me more love, forgiveness and understanding than any human had shown me."

Jet, born Baloo after the "Jungle Book" character, was purchased by the police department in 2002. K-9 officers live with their handlers during their time on the force; after 25 years as a handler, Colon plans to retire this fall. He said he had hoped to retire with Jet at his side.

Sgt. Doug Campion, who joined Colon at the veterinarian's office, said that Jet was true to form up to the end, lifting his leg to leave his final mark on Campion's shoe.

"I don't know if that was Jet showing me what he thought of my supervisory skills, or a sign that he and Tony had done some extra training," he told

Surrounded by family and fellow officers, also visibly moved, Colon said that Jet gave him purpose during his time on the force. "Rest well, sweet Baloo," he said at the end of his eulogy, turning to look at the photo of his former partner behind him.

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Mack Gelber

Mack Gelber

Associate Programming Manager

Mack Gelber is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor who has covered entertainment for AOL TV, and contributed fiction to Joyland Magazine and the Bushwick Review. He is a graduate of Oberlin College, where he studied creative writing. Twitter: @mackgelber

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Mr Chuck Collier

Boo Hoo The Dog gpt what it deserves ---If i have a Dog & its attacking Someone I feel its that Persons Right to Protect themselves

March 28 2014 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mr Chuck Collier's comment

WTF are you

March 30 2014 at 3:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mr Chuck Collier

I believe in Self Defense & if a Dog is Biting you then you should do your best to Beat the **** out of that Dog or Kill it ---I don't care who owns that Dog --Its called Self Defense --Just like if a Cop is Assaulting you then you have the Right To protect yourself of that Assault

March 28 2014 at 11:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm crying. What a touching story.

March 28 2014 at 7:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I lost my first partner to cancer and I know exactly what your going through. I lost my second partner to kidney disease so I experienced the pain of losing a partner twice. I retired after the second loss as I did not want to have to go through the experience again. You will never forget your partner as I have never forgot mine or alot of the arrests we made. They made me smile and feel safe and gave me a trust in a partner that I never had before. They had my back and I had their's. I believe they are still here with me, watching over me and I will see them again as you will see Jet! God bless you.

March 28 2014 at 6:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

don't be sad......Baloo will be there "on the other side" waiting for you when it's your time.

March 28 2014 at 4:49 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply


March 28 2014 at 4:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Offiver Colon: I am truely sorry for your loss. I have experienced the loss of my dog before and know it is very difficult. My latest adoption was from a rescue. My physician said it would be best if I got another dog after i lost my last one. I have to say it is a mystery to me how a dog can know when I am struggling with my PTSD. Sammy is the best perscription I have ever had. We will be thinking of you and officer Jet. May god bless your family.

March 28 2014 at 3:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Officer Colon: I am so very sorry for the loss you have endured with the passing of your partner, Jet.....I hope you know that because Jet's story has been made public, thousands and thousands of people will be sharing in your grief and both you and Jet will be in so many thoughts and prayers. I thank you for your own years of service and for the love and caring you gave to such a wonderful animal. I hope your story will move many to be more caring and help many more dogs to have such a rewarding and rich life.

March 28 2014 at 1:46 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply


March 28 2014 at 1:25 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

I dread the day when i have to put my German shepherd down....

March 28 2014 at 12:43 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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