Police dogs are a special kind of dog.
Just as human law enforcement officers are a special kind of person, K9 dogs are equally as important and respectable. Often faced with numerous and complicated tasks, police dogs come from strong generations bred to perform fearlessly and flawlessly. Often, breeds like German Shepherds exceed the standards with their incredible working abilities, desire to work one-on-one with their handlers, and their sheer tenacity in pursuing justice and detaining criminals. And while they excel, they also put their lives on the line every day to do it.
Take K9 Officer Titan, for example.
He was born on March 1, 2013. In 2014 he was inducted to serve at the Johnstown Police Department in Pennsylvania. Titan was trained in narcotics detection and criminal apprehension. He’s been through thick and thin with his human partner, Officer Brian Stevens. Throughout his tenure, he’s served both admirably and honorably. And it is in this line of duty that Titan has now fallen.
Just last week, on November 22, Titan fell down an elevator shaft while searching for burglary suspects.
Interim Chief of Police, Chad Miller, said officers were notified of a burglary in progress last Saturday at around four in the morning. The burglary was occurring at an old Goodwill warehouse. On the scene, officers discovered two suspects in hiding, and quickly learned there were another three to be detained. It was then that Officer Stevens and Titan were called for assistance.
In the midst of the search, Titan fell through an unsecured open elevator shaft on the fourth floor of the building and suffered fatal injuries.
Eventually, all five suspects were taken into custody. But the officers returned to the station missing one of their own. The Johnstown Police Department is currently mourning their sudden and unexpected loss and remembering a brave soul.
Cambria County District Attorney Greg Neugebauer released a statement, noting that Titan “courageously died in the line of duty.”
“Titan was loved and respected by the men and women who served alongside him, especially his handler Officer (Brian) Stevens. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Officer Stevens and his family, and to the entire JPD family during this difficult time.”
On Monday, November 23rd, Titan was escorted by police to the Hindman Funeral Home. His obituary remains here.
The community outreach has been overwhelming and amazing. Hundreds and hundreds of people have flocked to the police department, offering their hearts and condolences to this very disheartening turn of events. In return, the Police Department has taken Titan’s passing very seriously, honoring him just as a human officer. The department welcomed the public to line the streets of the funeral procession route to pay their respects.
The County Courthouse even lit up a display in honor of the fallen K9.
If one thing is for certain, Titan’s brave six-year tenure will not be forgotten. He will remain a staple forever more in the department.
Currently, a Go Fund Me is active in memory of Titan.
He leaves behind his immediate family Brian, Stephanie, Colin, Luke, and his four-legged friend Harly Stevens; as well as his family and fellow officers at the Johnstown Police Department. According to the fundraiser page, “all contributions will be given to the Johnstown Police Department to honor Titan’s legacy and support future training for the JPD K9 unit.”
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