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City Hopes Police K9 Can Stay With Family of Fallen St. Petesburg Officer

City Hopes Police K9 Can Stay With Family of Fallen St. Petesburg Officer

Officer Jeffrey A. Yaslowitz and Ace

St. Petersburg Times via YellowBrix

January 26, 2011

ST. PETERSBURG — The four-legged partners of canine police officers are more than that. Police dogs train, work and live with their officers. The dog becomes a member of the officer’s own family.

So it was with Ace, the partner of slain St. Petersburg Officer Jeffrey A. Yaslowitz. The officer is survived by his wife, Lorraine, 40, and their children: Caleb, 12; Haylie, 8; and Calen, 5.

Ace is a part of their family, said city officials, who hope to keep it that way.

“These kids lost their dad,” said Mayor Bill Foster. “We’re not going to let them lose their pet.”

Ace was in the officer’s SUV during the shootings that killed Yaslowitz and Sgt. Thomas J. Baitinger. He wasn’t brought out to help because the armed fugitive was hiding in an attic, out of the animal’s reach.

Police Chief Chuck Harmon said Ace is still with the family, but under the watch of other canine officers who are assisting them. Ace was Yaslowitz’s partner for two years.

“Ace has been going home with Jeff every night,” Harmon said. “Those kids consider that dog a pet.”

Retired police dogs often stay at home with their partners. In this case, Ace can stay with the family, officials say, if it’s safe for them.

After all, he is able to take down a fleeing suspect with his jaws.

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