It was a sad day last week for a New Jersey police department, as the Hackettstown PD announced the passing of K9 Officer Jada.

According to, Jada was the first K9 officer in the history of the Hackettstown Police Department. Patrolman Christopher Laver got her when she was a puppy. Jada joined the Hackettstown Police in 2016. Jada and Laver trained for 10 months for narcotics and patrol certifications. They graduated from the Union County Sheriff’s K9 Academy with the certification in narcotics and patrol, criminal apprehension, tracking, and article searches.

According to the Facebook post, Jada suffered a medical emergency while on duty. She was rushed to a veterinary clinic, where she unfortunately passed away with her partner, Officer Laver, by her side.

Jada was in the news late last year too, when she received a shelter painted with the stars-and-stripes. The doghouse was built and donated by Iraq War veteran and Scotch Plains resident Lou DiBella.

I have a real fondness for police dogs. I have loved sharing stories about dogs getting bullet-proof vests, injured dogs making recoveries, and dogs retiring after a decade on the force.

We've shared a few sad stories in the past too; a few years ago a K9 Officer in Toms River passed away, and earlier this year I sobbed while writing about a retired Barnegat K9 who received a hero's farewell as he prepared to cross the Rainbow Bridge.

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