Retired police officer still in battle to keep K-9 partner, despite reports


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Retired police officer still in battle to keep K-9 partner, despite reports

Officer Matthew Hickey was close to his K-9 partner Ajax.

So when he retired from 30 years of service at the Marietta, Ohio, Police Department Jan. 25, he thought Ajax would retire with him.

But WBNS reported that wording in a law said Ajax was property of the city and had to be bought for $3,500.

Although Hickey had the money to buy Ajax for what the state said he was worth, he would have to bid on Ajax in an auction since his worth was over $1,000, according to CNN.

Ohio law states officers can buy their dogs if the dog is older or hurt in the line of duty. Ajax is only 6 years old and could potentially work six more years.

Corey Orr, who set up the GoFundMe campaign, has raised over $70,000 so that Hickey can keep Ajax.

Orr said "remaining funds will be donated to the Vested Interest in K9's, Inc. This organization provides police departments with bullet/stab-proof vests."

The vests are $1,050.

But the campaign isn't over.

Despite reports that the department and Hickey reached a resolution that made Hickey an auxiliary officer, that's not the case.

It was thought that by making that resolution, Hickey would be able to keep Ajax, but Orr said in a GoFundMe update that Hickey has not accepted any auxiliary position.

"The offer of auxiliary officer had been considered, but has not and can not be offered because it has to be approved before it can be offered," Orr said. "Furthermore, Officer Hickey still has not been cleared by his doctor to return to active duty whether that be regular or auxiliary duty."

"So none of this has been resolved or settled upon," Orr said.

In a statement released Monday, Marietta Police Chief Rodney Hupp expressed frustration over what he called an "non-issue."

"As social media and the press ramped up around what should have been now rendered a non-issue, former officer Hickey, for reasons known only to him, escalated the situation by being disingenuous," Hupp said. "At every juncture, former officer Hickey chose to omit that he and I had a plan for K-9 Ajax’s future and that the resolution kept Ajax with Hickey at no cost to him."

The statement ended with Hupp and the department continuing to extend Hickey a position as a police auxiliary force member. The duties would include being an auxiliary police K-9 handler and keeper for Ajax.

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