New Union Elementary School recently celebrated with a heavy heart the retirement of SRO David Grosch’s partner, K9 Officer Jarka (pronounced YAR-ka).
School Assistant Principal Gwen Graves said that the 9-year-old German Shepherd will be greatly missed by the students.
“She’s their favorite. The kids love her,” Graves said.
Grosch jokingly added, “They always know where Jarka is. They may not know where I am, but they’ll know exactly where she is.
“She’s like having another deputy here with me,” Grosch said. “She’s always here when I need her.”
When Jarka started as an SRO K9 a year ago, it was something of an adjustment for the children. Grosch spoke to each class about how they should not try to pet the dog, because she’s a working dog.
For her part, Jarka adapted easily to the transition. Each day she comes to school and sniffs the lost and found stack of clothes, then settles into her crate in Grosch’s office.
Jarka is train in criminal apprehension and drug detection. She received 16 hours of training each month, minimum.
Over the years, Jarka has had a full career of arrests. Each year she is very active at Bonnaroo.