The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

May 4, 2013

Businesses help Ashtabula police officer get a new partner

By WARREN DILLAWAY - warren@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

ASHTABULA — Jax has already joined Ashtabula Police officer James Hildebrand patrolling the streets of Ashtabula as the most recent police dog working in the city.

The one-year-old dog quickly went through his training and started working in early March, Hildebrand said.

“Once I knew I was going to have to retire Kero (his former police dog) I began preparation to replace him,” he said.

Hildebrand said he canvassed a variety of businesses and hit the jackpot with a visit to Todd Nassief at Nassief Honda in Ashtabula. They agreed to pay the balance of the cost of the dog and training, he said.

Hildebrand said Only the Best Auctions, The Ashtabula Veterans of Foreign Wars, Davis Towing, Chromaflo Technologies Corp., Playall Awards and Engraving and Lake City Plating and Miguel DeFina DDS. also contributed to the purchase and training costs of the dog.

“It means a lot. It’s really great (that) the community helps,” he said.

Nassief said the dealership tries to support the city and the family loves dogs. “He had us when he walked in,” he said with a laugh.

“It is extremely important for our safety and the community safety, he said of the police dogs.

Hildebrand said the dog caught on to the training and completed his work in six weeks. He said it often takes eight weeks.

He was certified on Feb. 28 and began work in early March.

“He loves it (work). When he sees the uniform he knows it’s time to go to work,” he said.