JediAfter approximately five years of dedicated service, the police department’s seven year-old German Shepherd, Jedi, had to be retired due to the deterioration of muscles in his rear leg. Canine Jedi, originally from Czechoslovakia, was purchased in 2008 from a kennel in North Carolina, that specializes in police canines and has served as a multi-purpose canine and used for apprehension, tracking, building searches, article recovery and narcotics detection.

During Jedi’s tenure he was responsible for the seizures of roughly 1000 grams of marijuana and numerous seizures of cocaine and methamphetamines. In addition to a number of suspect apprehensions, Jedi located 15 people who were identified as missing or endangered during his career.

Canine Jedi will remain with his partner, Officer Jonathan Mendel, as a pet where he will live out the remainder of his life.

Efforts to replace Jedi are currently underway. The police department has established a donation account to cover the costs of equipment and training for the department’s canine program. For more information on how to donate to the police department’s canine program, please contact Captain Thomas Lewis at (941) 575-5539 or at 2

Prepared by:
Lieutenant Joe King
Administrative Services Supervisor
Punta Gorda Police Department
(941) 575-5525