K-9, 'greatest partner,' retires from force

Sheriff's Deputy Amanda Illuzzi is now Jazz's owner.

No more sniffing out narcotics and tracking down suspects. Jazz's days are now filled with sunbathing and relaxation.

The 9-year-old Dutch shepherd retired Aug. 27 after serving eight years with the Sarpy County Sheriff's Office. Jazz's partner and now owner, Deputy Amanda Illuzzi, said the K-9 was "the greatest partner" she's ever had.

"That dogwould give her life for me," Illuzzi said.

Building that level of trust took time, and the bond between K-9 and human partners doesn't always form, Illuzzi said.

"There can be a number of reasons things just don't work out, but for us it did, and the bond we have is hard to put into words," she said.

Jazz was Illuzzi's first police service dog, and Illuzzi has been Jazz's only human partner for the past eight years.

Jazz could sniff out narcotics, assist with tracking suspects and went along on patrols. Illuzzi said Jazz's social nature made her a pro at community events and an asset in building a bridge between law enforcement and the public.

"Not having her in my back seat is hard to get used to," Illuzzi said.

A new K-9 soon will take Jazz's place in the back of Illuzzi's cruiser: amale dog named Checquewho just started his training camp.

Illuzzi said she'll have to try not to compare Checque to Jazz, but she's confident that a new bond will form.

jwade@owh.com, 402-444-1067

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