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Hero Down: Hackettstown Police K9 Jada Dies On-Duty After Medical Emergency

Hackettstown, NJ – Hackettstown Police Department (HPD) K9 Jada died in the line of duty on Aug. 19 after suffering a medical emergency, according to her department.

The five-year-old Dutch Malinois was rushed to a veterinary clinic, where she passed away with her partner, HPD Officer Cristopher Laver, by her side, the agency said in a Facebook post the following day.

“Please keep Officer Laver and his family in your thoughts and prayers during this very tough time,” the post read. “Jada will be deeply missed by all of us here and will never be forgotten.”

K9 Jada joined the HPD on July 14, 2016, after Officer Laver approached the Hackettstown Town Council and HPD Chief James Macaulay about implementing a K9 unit, the New Jersey Herald reported.

He had already adopted K9 Jada, and they were training together when he pitched the idea to his administrators.

The HPD held tryouts and selected the duo to be the its K9 team, the New Jersey Herald reported.

K9 Jada and Officer Laver graduated from the Union County Sheriff’s Office K9 patrol class in 2017.

She helped apprehend numerous suspects and tracked down weapons and narcotics during her years of service, The Daily Voice reported.

“She’s the best partner I’ve ever had,” Officer Laver told the New Jersey Herald in October of 2019. “She’s serious and she does her job well.”

In January, K9 Jada and Officer Laver were selected to receive a $2,000 grant for coming in fourth place in a nationwide contest put on by the crime scene biohazard remediation company, Aftermath Services, the New Jersey Herald reported.

Four hundred departments participated in the contest.

“It’s easy to get behind a police department and Patrolman Laver and Jada, when you see the dedication and time spent,” Hackettstown Mayor Maria DiGiovanni told the New Jersey Herald at the time. “Without their dedication and without the support of everybody (in the community), we probably wouldn’t be standing here today.”

The HPD held a memorial service in K9 Jada’s honor on Monday.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hackettstown Police Department and Officer Laver in the loss of K9 Jada.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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