kilgore, tx — It is a sad day for members of the Kilgore Police Department. K9 Jeroen, a longtime member and senior police officer of the Kilgore Police Department, passed away early this morning due to a medical issue.
Jeroen V. Rikkie’s Roedel was born a German Shepherd in The Netherlands on June 9th, 2001. After passing a strenuous selection process Jeroen was handpicked to attend K9 police training. Jeroen soon completed many months of intense police training at Four Winds Police Dog Center in Geffen, The Netherlands, showing a natural disposition for police work. Jeroen was trained at the center as a dual purpose police service dog. He received training in narcotics detection, scent discriminate trailing and police patrol. Police patrol training included criminal apprehension, handler protection, evidence recovery, area searches, building searches and public demonstrations.
In 2004 Jeroen was chosen to work at the Kilgore Police Department. K9 Jeroen served the Department from 2004 until his death in 2012 as a member of the Patrol Division. He maintained both narcotic detection and patrol dog certifications through the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association and had two top ten finishes at national police dog conferences. Jeroen made over fifty felony arrest, 60 misdemeanor arrests and 35 successful tracks. Jeroen recovered over 270 pounds of Marijuana, 170 grams of Cocaine, 25 grams of methamphetamine and 5 grams of heroin.
Jeroen lived and served with long time partner and good friend Officer Brady Middlebrooks who cared for him greatly. Jeroen looked forward to his time on patrol and working with Officer Middlebrooks. He also loved and enjoyed working with kids especially doing demonstrations at local schools and daycares. Jeroen was always ready to assist his fellow police officer. Jeroen's last deployment was the apprehension of a known felon who attempted to assault police officers during the arrest.
Kilgore Police Chief Todd Hunter stated, “It is truly tragic that K-9 Jeroen passed so unexpectedly last night. He was having the best year of his career. Over his tenure with our department he had become a part of the Department and community. Day after day he served selflessly as a member of our Department and he will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his long time handler and partner, Officer Brady Middlebrooks. Jeroen was not a pet, but a true partner to Brady.”
Jeroen unselfishly served the Citizens of Kilgore his entire life with honor and devotion. He was a great asset to the Department.
Jeroen will be missed by all.