An inseparable partnership

By: Gena Johnson | Warren Weekly | Published February 8, 2023

 Center Line public safety Officer Jonathan Talerico and Jax are among Center Line’s finest helping to keep the community safe.

Center Line public safety Officer Jonathan Talerico and Jax are among Center Line’s finest helping to keep the community safe.

Photo provided by the Center Line Department of Public Safety


CENTER LINE — The Center Line Department of Public Safety has a new sleuth on the force helping to keep its residents safe.

He has been patrolling the streets since December after completing extensive training at Oakland Community College and the police academy. Perhaps you have seen this tall, dark and handsome member of Center Line’s finest, who hails from the Czech Republic. If you haven’t, meet Jax, a beautiful black purebred German shepherd, who joined the K-9 Unit in September 2022.

Jax is partnered with public safety Officer Jonathan Talerico, a more than two-year veteran with the Center Line Department of Public Safety. He is excited about his new partner and anticipates Jax will be an asset to the department and help in a myriad of ways.

“He is certified in narcotics detection,” said Talerico. In addition, he said Jax is capable of “any sort of tracking, if we need to find anyone. If we have a breaking and entering, where someone leaves, or any type of missing person. We can use him (Jax) to help us find the suspect or the person missing, and track them down.”

Jax is also able to find property.

“If a bad guy throws a gun in the field, he (Jax) has the ability to find that property,” said Public Safety Director Paul Myszenski.

In addition to working with Center Line, Jax can be used by other law enforcement agencies.

“We can help out other departments if they need K-9s,” said Talerico.

Talerico is enjoying working with Jax.

“It’s interesting and different from the normal everyday police work. There’s definitely a lot more responsibility that goes into it,” Talerico said. “It’s fun having a partner at all times.

“You just have to be mindful. It’s not just yourself in the vehicle,” said Talerico. “You have to watch out for him (Jax), his well-being. Make sure you are doing everything to where both of you are safe.”

Talerico and Jax are inseparable.

“He is with me 24/7,” Talerico said.

According to Myszenski, Jax will go through continual training throughout his tenure with the department.

Dogs like Jax are not cheap.

“They can cost nearly $10,000,” Myszenski said.

The K-9 unit is funded by friends of the Center Line Public Safety K-9 Foundation, a nonprofit whose partners and donors support the K-9 unit by paying for the dog and his expenses including food, medical costs and equipment. There is no taxpayer expense for the K-9s, according to Myszenski.

Jax is the only K-9 in the unit and was preceded by Murphy and his partner Sgt. David Allen.  Both retired from the department in February 2022. Allen is still working for Center Line as an ordinance enforcement officer and was instrumental in securing a substantial donation from local business partners to bring Jax to the Center Line Department of Public Safety, according to City Manager Dennis Champine.

Look for Jax and public safety officer Talerico as they patrol the Center Line community.