GE donates $5,000 for K-9 officers

Officials of GE Energy in Minden donated $5,000 Monday to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office patrol and drug-detecting dog program just a month after one of the department's K-9 officers died in a patrol car fire.

Brian Palmer, general manager of Optimization and Control at General Electric, presented Sheriff Ron Pierini and Undersheriff Bob Rudnick a check to help defray the costs of replacing Jon-Jon, a black Labrador retriever trained to detect drugs.

Jon-Jon died in the Feb. 3 fire while his handler, Deputy Rick Koontz, and another officer were responding to an early morning alarm inside a building at Meridian Business Park north of Minden.

Investigators believe the fire was caused by faulty wiring in the vehicle.

By the time the deputies were aware the car was on fire, it was fully engulfed.

Jon-Jon died of smoke inhalation and was honored at a service Feb. 24 attended by 600 law enforcement personnel, K-9 deputies and members of the public.

"We felt the need to take immediate action when we first learned of the demise of Jon-Jon," Palmer said. "We are committed to supporting the Douglas County Sheriff's Office and doing what we can to help maintain a safe community for our employees and others in Douglas County."


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