When Suffolk County police Officer Kenneth Michaels received Ace on Feb. 9, 2010, the canine cop was just 11 months old.
As the years passed, Michaels and his partner, a black German shepherd, became inseparable, working together on numerous investigations.
“He was dedicated. He was a great dog,” Michaels said of Ace, who died June 22 after being diagnosed with cancer.
To honor Ace’s canine service, police officers, elected officials and animal lovers gathered Saturday at the Selden Dog Park, where a memorial bench was unveiled during the community’s fall festival. The bench, featuring a plaque with an engraving of Ace’s face, was donated by ShopRite in Selden.
Brookhaven Councilman Kevin LaValle hailed Ace as “the perfect police dog.”
Michaels said Ace jumped into his patrol car, “ready to go to work,” the day he died.
But Michaels later noticed that Ace wasn’t eating and took him to a veterinarian. After tests and X-rays, doctors found Ace had inoperable spleen cancer. He was euthanized later that day.
“It was a tough decision,” Michaels said. “. . . He got me through thick and thin. I used to take him home with me.”
The officer recalled how Ace helped police and U.S. marshals arrest a fugitive in 2014. Authorities came up empty during a house search — until Ace picked up the man’s scent coming from the attic and began barking.
Asked how to best describe his former partner, Michaels said with a smile, “Relentless. He never gave up.”