Jazz, a 9-year-old Dutch Shepherd-Belgian Malinois mix and longtime K9 with the Sarpy County Sheriff's Office, officially retired Aug. 27.

Sarpy County Sheriff's Deputy Amanda Illuzzi, who handled Jazz for eight years, said Jazz was a vital part of keeping officers safe by tracking suspects and building searches and establishing rapport with the community through public interaction at local events.

"I'll never know exactly a total number of how many times she's saved me, if you will, because we've had a lot of surrenders," Illuzzi said. "People give up just based on her barking or the announcement of us getting ready to send her in."

Jazz came to the Sheriff's Office from the Netherlands in 2011, and Illuzzi said they didn't see eye to eye all the time and it took a couple years before they were completely comfortable with each other.

"You're learning to trust something that can't talk to you and she's learning to trust me, and it's hard," Illuzzi said.

At work Jazz is all business, Illuzzi said, but is also social and knows how to interact with other dogs and children when they were at public events.

At home, Jazz is very social and loves to bathe in the sun, Illuzzi said.

"On a nice day you'll catch her laying out in the backyard and then she'll get up, go to the shade for a little bit and then come back and lay out in the sun," she said. 

Jazz lived with Illuzzi throughout her time in the department and will continue to do so in retirement.

Illuzzi and Jazz appeared before the Sarpy County Board of Commissioners Aug. 27, where Sarpy County Board Chairman Don Kelly read a proclamation that said Jazz "used her unique skills and training" to locate suspects, assisted multiple law enforcement agencies and kept residents safe.

Jazz also received several gifts, including two big bones, a box of dog treats and a bone-shaped cake with blue frosting. 

She also got a round of applause from the large crowd that was in attendance.

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