Memorial plaque for fallen La Vergne K9 officer Sjaak

Posted at 9:53 PM, Mar 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-13 22:54:37-05

LA VERGNE, Tenn. (WTVF) — In honor of K9 Veterans Day, a local non-profit paid tribute to fallen La Vergne K9 officer Sjaak, who died in the line of duty last year.

Organization Purple Paws presented a plaque for the city and Officer Justin Darby, Sjaak's partner. Mayor Jason Cole and Interim Police Chief Chip Davis accepted the plaque on Darby's behalf today.

Sjaak died last November when Javon Brice allegedly pulled up beside Officer Darby's patrol car and opened fire. Darby was not hit, but Sjaak was hit three times.

"Our hearts are broken." Chief Davis said at the time. "Our K9s are members of the LPD family. Sjaak was an amazing and loyal dog."

Officer Darby recently visited U.S. K9 Unlimited in Louisiana, where he spent time with K9s in training. There, he chose Belgian Malinois "Turbo" as his new partner. The two will train together in April, and Turbo will later be sworn in with the La Vergne Police Department.