‘A good run’: Remembering Hamilton County K-9 Deputy Dibo

After losing his partner, a Hamilton County handler reflects on how the animal impacted the community. (Courtesy Hamilton County Sheriff's Office).

NOBLESVILLE, Ind (WISH) – A Hamilton County K-9 sheriff deputy had a big impact on the community, and mainly, on the man he aimed to please.

Hamilton County Sgt. Dustin Dixon is trying to move on.

“It was a good run with him,” Sgt. Dixon said.

As he went sifting through tennis balls Wednesday, Sgt. Dixon couldn’t help but think of the partner he lost.

“Hard-headed would probably be the better word to use,” Sgt. Dixon said. “Sometimes we went round and round through the first course of the years getting to know each other. I’m a little hard-headed too. Toward the end we figured out a good way to work together.”

After developing congestive heart failure, Sgt. Dixon put down his partner of eight years, Deputy Dibo, Monday.

Dibo was his second K-9 partner, but the first dog he worked with for a number of years. The K-9 pair spent 2,000 hours training, took part in 1,200 calls, and Deputy Dibo apprehended nearly 100 suspects.

“I’m proud of the fact that we were able to do that and it’s a respectful number at least,” Sgt. Dixon said.

One of Sgt. Dixon’s favorite memories happened in the woods near 141st Street in Fishers. A year ago, they were looking for a suspect when Deputy Dibo picked up his scent along the river. The dog approached the man who then grabbed its head and put it in the river. Despite being held there, Deputy Dibo never broke his grip, and deputies were able to make an arrest.

It wasn’t only police work. The pair also took part in K-9 Olympics.

“One year he won second place at the Olympics there,” Sgt. Dixon said. “And one year in Delaware County he won top overall patrol dog.”

Soon, Deputy Dibo will have a stone outside the sheriff’s office.

“It’s kind of one of those things where you don’t forget that dog,” Sgt. Dixon said.

A spot to honor an animal who gave so much to the county, and the man who called him a friend.

“He taught me a lot of lessons and he kind of has some big shoes to fill with dog number three,” Sgt. Dixon said.

Replacing Deputy Dibo won’t be cheap. It’ll cost nearly $10,000. Sgt. Dixon plans to start the process soon and start training with his new K-9 partner next month.

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