Memorial service conducted for Middletown K9 Koda, remembered as ‘a super dog’

Sgt. Jordan’s dog died Sunday from cancer.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

MIDDLETOWN — When Middletown police Sgt. Dennis Jordan received Koda seven years ago, he wasn’t sure what to expect.

What Jordan got was possibly a lifesaver.

“A wonderful dog, loyal and hard working, better than I deserved” is how Jordan described Koda.

Then he added: “A super dog.”

On Thursday morning, under gray skies and with the American flag blowing at half-staff, Koda was remembered during his memorial service at Woodside Cemetery in Middletown. Koda, a 7-year-old Dutch shepherd from the Czech Republic, died Sunday following a short bout with cancer.

During the service, several K9 officers and their dogs from neighboring police departments, stood silently near the stage. Jordan walked down the line of officers from the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, Hamilton, Trenton, Monroe, Oxford and German Twp. and hugged each of them.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

“I’m truly blessed,” Jordan said after the service. “Those are my good friends. We’re a close-knit community.”

Jordan, talking exclusively to this media outlet, said Koda recovered close to $175,000 in cash, hundreds of pounds of narcotics and 40 to 50 guns on suspected drug sniffs during his six-year career. He said the purchase of Koda occurred simultaneously with the heroin epidemic in the city.

“He was a good drug dog,” said Jordan, his shield covered with a mourning band.

Koda was Jordan’s third K9, following Ajax and Gunner.

Middletown Police Chief David Birk called K9s “remarkable tools” that become the officer’s partner and best friend.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

“Trained to take a bullet” is how Birk described the relationship.

That’s exactly what nearly happened in August 2020 when Jordan and Koda responded to a report of a police chase involving a homicide suspect out of Hamilton. Christopher Hubbard fired several shot at Jordan and Koda, but only Jordan was struck and received minor injuries.

Koda was in the Warren County courtroom last month when Hubbard was sentenced to 56 years in prison.

In 2021, Jordan and Koda received the Valor Award at the North American Police Work Dog Association. They also received the national Patrol Case of the Year award from the United States Police Canine Association and the Combat Cross medal for the 2020 shooting.

Birk said the death of Koda was “a sad day” for the department. He said the department now has three working K9s after Koda’s death. He plans to erect a memorial for handlers and their K9s at Woodside Cemetery.

Lamar Ferrell, pastor at Berachah Church who serves as police chaplain, said Koda when spelled Coda is a musical term that means “the end.”

He said Koda taught everyone that he was “eager to work, faithful to serve and valiant in duty.”

Then he added: “Koda lived well.”

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