Justis, the Brown Deer Police Department's Dutch Shepherd who worked all over the area, helped sniff out drugs, chase down criminals and taught children about the police department. Sadly, his service ended Wednesday when he passed away from a quickly onsetting infection.
"He’s going to be missed because he did work with a lot of different people," Brown Deer Police Chief Steven Rinzel said. "Entries, drug searches, there were school searches we had, plus he was also very friendly with kids."
And while Justis was a member of the Brown Deer Police Department, Rinzel said he's assisted communities all across Southeastern Wisconsin including Oak Creek, the North Shore, Ozaukee and Washington counties, to name a few.
Justis was taken to a vetrinary hospital in Madison where the doctor determined Justis passed away from Gastric Torsion, a type of bloat common in large-breed dogs. Rinzel said the department had no idea Justis was even sick because he was such a strong dog.
"These dogs are trained to ignore pain," he said. "A homespun dog, we may have noticed it. But these dogs, the first thing you notice is they usually stop eating. He didn’t eat breakfast that morning, and he passed away in the afternoon."
Justis had been a member of the department for eight years and was scheduled to retire in January. He would have been 11 in September. And while Rinzel said Brown Deer will still hold their National Night Out on July 31 at the Village Park, 4920 W. Green Brook Dr., this year's celebration will be for a different reason.
"That’s why we were having this National Night Out for Justice, because he’s retiring," Rinzel said. "We’re still going to be doing it, but it just has a little bit different meaning now."