An Arkansas sheriff’s department mourns the loss of one of their officers, having taken the time to visit him before he succumbed to bone cancer on Wednesday.
The Lonoke County Sheriff’s Department gathered to celebrate the life of Deputy Pajti, a selfless officer of the law who dedicated his entire adult life to law enforcement, even after his crippling ailment left him unable to work.
His partner, Deputy Brooks Grabill, was particularly heartbroken, having only worked with Deputy Patji for a few years before he was diagnosed.
“He’s worked his way into everyone’s heart. And he means a lot to this department and community.”
When medical professionals discovered Deputy Patji had bone cancer, it was too late- the proud public servant was already starting to go downhill, striking pain into the hearts of all whom he worked and interacted with.
Deputy Patji was an extremely talented law enforcement officer, with several noted drug busts and suspect captures on his record.
For Grabill, Deputy Patji was the deputy that could make a dangerous situation safe, a tense situation calm and bring a sense of tranquillity to those who were shaken and afraid. He was just that good.
“Pajti was able to transform that task in an instant,” he said. “You know, he saw a kid that was upset, he wanted to cuddle him.”
If you haven’t figured it out already, Patji -which is Hungarian for “friend”- was a dog, a member of the LCSO’s K-9 force.
“He was just an all-around great dog,” Grabill said. “But the things that he helped the most with, that helped our department, is with the schools, with the churches, and with the kids. You know, a lot of times, we’d go on calls, and there’d be an upset kid. And to get him to calm down, I’d be able to introduce him to Pajti, and they’d love on him, and play with him. And, you know, they just thought it was the neatest thing. It bridged that gap.”
For Grabill, the difference between lawman and law-dog was nonexistent. Patji was his partner.
“Being a K9 is 24/7,” Grabill explained. “The dog’s always with you. He’s with you more than your family. You wake up and you go to work; he’s with you. Go home, take off your vest, he’s right there with you, as well. You eat dinner together, you eat lunch in your car together. It’s a bond. And it’s hard to see something like this happen.”
According to THV11, members of the LCSO, Lonoke Police Department, and North Little Rock Police Department and Cabot Police Department honoured Patji on his “last walk” to be euthanized, forming a procession and sending him off with the dignity he deserved.
Despite a limp from his tumour-ridden leg, Patji walked proudly to the end of the line, smiling as he passed those he had served alongside.
“They’re a part of our lives,” Grabill said of deputy K-9s, “but we’re all of their life.”
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