The Oneida County Sheriff's Office had a busy week,, and part of that has been the addition of two new K9 Unit officers made possible by donations from local businesses.

On Thursday, Sheriff Rob Maciol announced a third addition to the K9 fleet with a tremendously special meaning and story.

Andrew Derminio
Andrew Derminio
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On Sunday, April 14th, 2024 Syracuse Police Officer Michael Jensen and Onondaga County Sheriff's Lieutenant Michael Hoosock were brutally attacked and murdered while responding to a report of a stolen vehicle that led them to an address on Darien Drive in Salina.

The suspect, 33-year-old Christopher Murphy, was also killed when officers returned fire. This was a devastating day for the Central New York law enforcement community and beyond.

Andrew Derminio
Andrew Derminio
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The horrific loss is why Sheriff Maciol and members of his department decided to honor Syracuse PD Officer and Rome native Michael Jensen in the naming of their newest K9 member.

At a press conference at the Oneida County Public Safety Complex, the public was introduced to the 15-month-old Dutch Shepherd trainee named “Jensen.” His name is a tribute to the tragically short life but impressive legacy of Syracuse Police Officer Michael Jensen. The name was revealed by Michael's parents Michelle and Paul.

Michelle Jensen spoke to the crowd at the podium and said,

We were happy and pleased to get to spend a little time with the pup. He has a lot of Michael's qualities. He's smart, he's feisty, he appears to be very loyal with his handler, he's a young, energetic pup and ready to learn. And he's handsome just like Michael.

Michael's father, Paul, then revealed the name "Jensen."

Andrew Derminio
Andrew Derminio
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In attendance at the press conference were members of the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office including Sheriff Rob Maciol, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, representatives from the Syracuse Police Department including Chief Joseph L. Cecile and members of the Jensen family.

Chief Cecile said of the dedication,

I think it's just one more step where we can move forward. I've said early on, everyone was saying early on, we have to do two things after we lost these two heroes. One of them is never, never forget them and the second one is to move on. That's what both of them would want us to do. Michael Jensen would want us to move on and continue to do the work that he'd done in his short career. He touched a lot of lives. He had saved a few lives and I don't mean figuratively, but literally. He would want us to continue to do the job of police work. 

He went on to add that during the 7-8 year tenure of this dog's service, people will ask about "Jensen" and how his name came to be. That way they will always remember Officer Jensen and the life he led and the legacy he left behind.

They will remember his bravery.

The funds used to purchase this new addition to the force did not come out of taxpayer dollars. The dog was acquired by use of drug forfeiture money as a result of sting operations.

"Jensen" will be used primarily for bomb and explosives detection at some of the area's biggest events. It truly was an amazing ceremony and it was definitely a proud moment for the Oneida County Sheriff's Office and their K9 unit.

Photo Courtesy of The Oneida County Sheriff's Office
Photo Courtesy of The Oneida County Sheriff's Office
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"Jensen" is one of three K9 officers introduced to the community this week. The first was "Mastro," who was a gift from Mastrovito Hyundai of Yorkville. The second was "Indi," who was made possible through a generous gift made by Indium Corporation.

These three dogs will no doubt drastically assist the Sheriff's Office with ensuring the public safety for all in our region.

You Can View The Whole Press Conference Below

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