By Alena KairysMar 1, 2021
Sjaak (pronounced “Shock”) was a Belgian Malinois who joined Tennessee’s La Vergne Police Department in 2014 as a K-9 officer. During his K-9 training, he developed a close relationship with his future partner and handler, Officer Justin Darby. In addition to being beloved by everyone on the police force, Sjaak had a loving and protective bond with Darby’s children, effectively becoming another member of the family.
Throughout his career as a K-9 officer, Sjaak played an indispensable role in keeping La Vergne safe. He assisted with 23 apprehensions, recovered over $21,000 in cash, and helped seize large amounts of illegal substances. His fellow officers remember how Sjaak’s acute senses and training helped save them many times while on duty. Darby says, “Workwise we’ve been through so many situations. I mean just sticky, dangerous situations. On a couple of occasions, he’s saved not only my life, but other officers as well, with armed suspects.” On November 19, 2020, Sjaak passed away after being struck three times by a suspect who was shooting at Darby’s patrol car. He was eight years old.
Sjaak was given full honors for sacrificing his life in the line of duty. His police comrades gathered to honor him, and jurisdictions from across the country came to pay their respects. Sjaak will forever be remembered and loved by Darby and the rest of the La Vergne Police Department. “When he was at work, he was fearless,” Darby reminisces. “He would lay his life on the line, which he did, for not only me, but for any officer here. He’s done it numerous times. He’s a true hero.”
NFM Salute is an initiative in which one military member or Veteran is chosen each month to be honored as the “Salute of the Month.” Salutes are chosen from nominations on the NFM Salute website, www.nfmsalute.com. The “Salute of the Month” will be featured on the website with a biography and information about his or her service, and NFM Lending will donate to a non-profit in the Salute’s name.
NFM Lending is proud to donate $2,500 to the La Vergne K-9 Department on behalf of Sjaak. NFM looks forward to the opportunity to continue to honor military and Veterans through the NFM Salute initiative.
About NFM Lending
NFM Lending is a mortgage lending company currently licensed in 40 states in the U.S. The company was founded in Baltimore, Maryland in 1998. NFM Lending and its family of companies includes Main Street Home Loans, BluPrint Home Loans, and Freedmont Mortgage Group. They attribute their success in the mortgage industry to their steadfast commitment to customers and the community. For more information about NFM Lending, visit www.nfmlending.com, like our Facebook page, or follow us on Instagram.
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