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Bibb County Sheriffs Office welcomes new K-9 in honor of fallen deputy Brad Johnson

In a ceremony at the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office attended by state leaders and law enforcement officials on Friday, a new K-9 deputy was introduced not only as an asset to the force — but also as a tribute to a fallen hero.

K-9 Ari, a 2-year-old Dutch Shepherd, was donated by Spectrum in memory of Deputy Brad Johnson, who tragically lost his life in the line of duty. Johnson, who is remembered as a hero both in life and in death, left behind a legacy of bravery, service, and immense sacrifice at just 32 years of age. His name was enshrined into state law last year when the Alabama Legislature and Governor Kay Ivey authorized the Deputy Brad Johnson Act.

Ari is the first law enforcement canine to be acquired since the office’s previous canine retired.

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“I’m grateful to Spectrum for honoring Deputy Brad Johnson with their donation of K-9 Ari to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff Jody Wade. “K-9 Ari will be a valuable addition as we revitalize our K- 9 program. His expertise in narcotics detection will enhance public safety throughout our county.”

Sheriff Wade, alongside elected officials including Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth, State Sen. April Weaver (R-Brierfield), State Rep. Russell Bedsole (R-Alabaster), and Spectrum representatives introduced the newest member of the department.

“This department has been through a lot since deputy Brad Johnson and Bodie reached the end of their service in June 2022,” Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth said. “The people of Alabama have mourned with this department. And today we celebrate the department, Deputy Sheriff Brad Taylor, and Ari. A trained canine officer and his dog are one of the most dynamic assets the department can have.”

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Deputy Taylor and Ari recently passed their certifications, graduating with their class and are now on the job at the Sheriff’s office. The duo will help combat illegal drug activity, track suspects and locate the missing.

“Giving back to the communities we serve is a tradition in our company,” said Jane Rhodes, Senior Vice President of Corporate Physical Security at Charter Communications, Inc., which operates the Spectrum brand of connectivity products and services. “In providing the funding for K-9 Ari, we honor Deputy Johnson and the law enforcement heroes that are keeping citizens safe.”

Charter’s donation of nearly $17,000 via Cahaba Valley Health Services nonprofit facilitated acquisition of K-9 Ari, equipment and training for he and his handler. K-9 Ari will reside at Deputy Taylor’s residence.

Grayson Everett is the state and political editor for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @Grayson270

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