LENOIR CITY, Tenn. (WATE) — They say a dog is a man’s best friend, but for officers, the bond is even stronger. After the tragic death of Loudon County deputy, Sgt. Chris Jenkins, his K-9 partner, known as “Deja Vu” or “Deja” had to make an unexpected adjustment.
“They live at home with you,” Lt. Michael Watkins of the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office said. “You leave your kids to go to work, this (Deja) comes to work with you. So you never leave this child’s side,” he said.
Hand in paw, the relationship an officer has with their K-9 is unbreakable. This was especially true for Jenkins and Deja. On Feb. 3, an unexpected tragedy caused the two to say goodbye sooner than expected after Sgt. Jenkins was killed while removing debris from I-75 North.
“They were the perfect pair,” Watkins said.
Watkins also said he was the one who got Deja out of the fallen deputy’s vehicle, and he quickly noticed the difference it made in Deja’s life by not having Jenkins at her side.
“She was very quiet, never barked, she was not very energetic,” he said.
After spending some time at the sheriff’s office and reuniting with family, Deja is back to being her energetic self. Now, both she and Watkins can reminisce on the good Jenkins did for the community with Deja by his side.
“I’m very fortunate to have known Chris and was able to work with Chris,” Watkins said. “He and his partner here, it’s absolutely detrimental to the county they live in, for the support they gave against crime and also just being nice.”
Jenkins’ family will decide where Deja’s next home will be, but for now, she is stationed at the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office.