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  Passing of Police Service Dog Justice

Apr 11, 2012 15:13 ET

Retired police dog Justice recently passed away while at home, surrounded by his partner, Cst. Jason Cockburn, and his family.

Justice joined DRP in 2002 after completing extensive training and hit the ground running with his partner Cst. Jason Cockburn. He was the first Belgian Malinois to join the DRPS and was a general purpose and narcotics dog.

One high profile incident involved locating a suicidal male from Pickering. Police had been dispatched in an attempt to find the male who was reportedly in possession of a knife. Justice located a blood trail in the six kilometres of woods behind West Division. Eventually the male emerged from the woods with his knife raised. This was before tasers were available to officers and, as Cst. Cockburn was closest to the male, Justice was deployed. Even with Justice on his arm the male continued to advance with the knife raised so Cst. Cockburn grasped his knife hand. While the distraught male and Cst. Cockburn struggled with the knife, Justice grabbed the male by the head and pulled him to the ground and he finally dropped the knife. The male was apprehended and only suffered minor injuries from Justice’s bites. “In his 5 ½ years with DRPS he only bit six or seven people,” said Cst. Cockburn. “His greatest asset was his nose, not his bite.”

After Justice’s retirement from DRPS he continued to serve the community as a member of the canine team with the Ontario Volunteer Emergency Response Team (OVERT). He travelled to the US for various training certifications and continued to visit schools and community events as he loved all of the attention from children.

Justice was an important part of DRP and a beloved member of the Cockburn family; Jason, his wife Sherri, son Jordan and daughter Rachel. “We spread his ashes in the woods where we walked every day.” He will be greatly missed.

Below are attached files.
justice thumb (JPG file, 29.3K bytes)
Cst. Jason Cockburn and Justice (JPG file, 131.9K bytes)
Best buds Justice and Jordan (JPG file, 1,874.1K bytes)