JONESBORO, Ark. – The K9 Officer that, along with his handler, won 2019 Officer of the Year in Jonesboro, has passed away.
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of JPD K9 Gabo this evening. – JPD wrote on Facebook.
A JPD source told NEA Report that Gabo had been sick for several days and had passed away from illness.
A memorial service for Gabo has been scheduled for Monday, January 20th at Emerson Funeral Home. The service will begin at 10 a.m. with the JPD Honor Guard. The public is invited to attend.
Gabo served the Jonesboro Police Department for seven years, since 2012, and was assigned to his handler Inv Erik Johnson the entire time.
Gabo was born on July 1, 2011 in Hungary and was imported to the US at roughly one year old. This incredible K9 Team specialized in narcotics detection, patrol work, tracking, building search, handler protection and suspect apprehension.
Most notably, Gabo assisted in a SWAT callout on December 11, 2018 where he was shot five times at point-blank range. A bullet- and stab-proof vest presented to him by Vested Interest in K9s stopped the bullet that would have been fatal.
Gabo returned to duty just two months later and didn’t skip a beat in working alongside his partner, Inv Erik Johnson, again.
Gabo and Johnson were awarded the 2019 Officer of the Year award by the Jonesboro Police Department, and the 2019 Persons of the Year award by CrimeStoppers of Jonesboro. Gabo was also awarded a Medal of Valor for his courageous service and actions on December 11, 2018.
JPD’s K9 Unit is dear to all of our hearts. When they hurt, we hurt. We will never be able to express how appreciative we are for Gabo, Erik, and the entire K9 Unit. Their work does not go unnoticed and we grieve with Erik at the loss of his irreplaceable partner. – JPD
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