k9-benIt is with deep sadness and regret that I announce that K9 Ben will be laid to rest on January 6, 2016. Words seem inadequate to express our feelings of grief by the men and women of Salem County Sheriff’s Office in our loss of this amazing K9 Officer, stated Sheriff Charles M. Miller.  

K9 Ben will be laid to rest at Woodstown Veterinary Hospital at 2pm on Wednesday, January 6, 2016.

Freeholder Director Julie Acton stated, “K9 Ben, along with his partner Sgt. Hans, made an impact serving the residents of Salem County. K9 Ben was a loved member of the community and he will not be forgotten. This is a solemn day for the Sheriff’s Office, Freeholder Board, and county employees.”

K9 Ben began his employment with the Salem County Sheriff’s Office in 2003 as an explosives detection specialist and was assigned to his partner, SGT Rob Hans. This began a very successful partnership that spanned ten years.  Ben attended the New Jersey State Police K9 Academy and graduated with his partner in July, 2004.  He was a member of the Detect and Render Safe Task Force since that time and had a very colorful career working such details as the Miss America Pageant, various presidential details and governor’s conference, but most importantly, Ben served the residents of Salem County with dedication and faithful service.  Ben responded to over 900 bomb threats statewide, and hundreds of proactive sweeps and initiatives.

Ben has been a popular figure throughout Salem County. His pleasant and extremely friendly demeanor was always a popular attraction to young people.  He has visited many schools, nursing homes, day care centers, churches and other community functions where he and his partner have provided educational demonstrations on bomb and explosive detection. While providing demonstrations and being seen throughout the county, his handler, Sgt Rob Hans was frequently referred to as “Ben’s handler.”  When Sgt Hans is out in the community he is continuously asked by how Ben is doing.

Ben’s official date of retirement was December 31, 2013. He lived the rest of days at home with Sgt. Robert Hans and his family.

The Salem County Sheriff’s Office is very proud of K9 Ben and his service to Salem County and offers condolences to Sgt. Robert Hans and his family.

Sgt. Hans stated “It is with my deepest regrets that I announce the passing of my K-9 partner, Ben. Ben has not only been a partner of mine for the past 10 years but has been a major part of my immediate family, where he was loved unconditionally.   Since his retirement, Ben has been suffering from a degenerative nerve disease in his spine. His battle has continued until I felt he could no longer sustain the pain and suffering. Although I have two new K-9 partners, no other K-9 will ever replace the commitment and dedication that Ben has shown over the past 10 years.”

“K9 Officer Ben had an accomplished career and it is with deep regret and sorrow as we say our emotional farewell and lay to rest first responder K9 Ben. He deserves this honorable farewell, he will be missed.” Freeholder Dale Cross, Chair of the Public Safety Committee.”