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A Last Ride Along With K9-2

The stellar crime fighting team of Columbus Division of Police Officer David Jones and K-9 Ayko will retire in early July. Officer Jones has served the city for nearly 31 years, and K-9 Ayko has devoted his entire life to becoming the elite crime-fighting machine he is today. Starfish President/Founder Nicole Banks was honored to go on a final ride along with Officer Jones and Ayko last night, which she shares with us here:

When he's working, K-9 Ayko is all business. The center door between his area of the vehicle and where Officer Jones sits never moves--he doesn't want to duck his head in for some pets or look out the window to see what's going on. He knows exactly what's going on. His breathing changes as soon as the GPS directions come on as Officer Jones travels across the city for a call, and if he is left in the car when he knows his partner is going to work on something, he barks furiously. And he absolutely knows the difference between Officer Jones stepping out to say hello to a colleague or to investigate a scene.

Our first call was to meet with SWAT as they looked for a person with felony gun warrants. They had been tipped off that the individual was in a specific area, and Ayko could tell that his services would likely be needed soon. When Officer Jones arrived near the scene, he stepped out to speak to a SWAT officer. Ayko barked indignantly, wanting desperately to be put to work.

He is a beautiful dog who teams up perfectly with his beautiful partner, Officer Jones. Together they not only protect and serve the citizens of Columbus, but they bring joy to everyone who knows them. As we went through our evening, every cop who encountered Officer Jones was happy to see him and glad to have him there.

It was a busy day, with two missing children (one was a miscommunication, the other CPD officers found the child). There was also an allegedly stolen Kia with all occupants under the age of 18, including one under the age of 10.

Towards the end of Officer Jones's shift, we stopped by to see SWAT. Many of you may remember a moment in 1993 when a sniper shot a gun out of a man's hand during a standoff. Did you know that was CPD SWAT Officer Mike Plum? You can learn about it here and it is very much worth your time.

Thank you to Officer Jones and Ayko for your years of service to the city. We know you're looking forward to a much deserved break, and we hope you have a ton of fun. We're looking forward to our final Starfish event with you both in June.

(I'd also like to thank Columbus SWAT. I thought I'd be fighting back tears at the end of this ride along, but you guys were great and sent me on my way tear-free.)


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