Ashland County Sheriff's Sgt. Timothy Kitts and his canine Meeko will be remembered for dedicating every day to looking for drugs, on U.S. 30, Interstate 71 and throughout Ashland County.
"He and his canine worked day-after-day looking for drugs and they were always looking for the mother lode," Ashland County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Carl Richert said. "He was as anxious about finding the drugs as his dog was. They made an excellent team."
Kitts, 51, died unexpectedly at home Thursday.
He served 26½ years with the sheriff's office beginning June 7, 1991. Kitts worked as a special deputy, dispatcher, corrections officer and as a patrol deputy.
He was promoted to sergeant on June 2, 2001 and became a K-9 handler in 2002. He was currently serving with K-9 Meeko as the day shift patrol sergeant.
Richert called Kitts a working sergeant who worked from his cruiser daily, serving as the supervisor on day shift.
He was one of those people who everybody liked.
"He came to work with a smile, and he came to work with a good attitude and he came to work," Richert said.
"He will be terribly, terribly missed, not only by everyone he worked with but also by the community. He made a difference in the community," Richert said.
Meeko will be retired and remain with the Kitts family, Richert said.
"This is a family over here and we treat each other like family, not just employer and employee," said Richert on Friday.
Calling hours will be held 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Calvary Baptist Church on Davis Road in Ashland where funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday.
A motorcade will travel to Ashland Memorial Park where Kitts will be laid to rest.
Richert said he is honored to drive with Kitts' K-9 Meeko in the new sheriff's canine vehicle in the motorcade.
The 2017 Chevy Tahoe was purchased for the department with donations from the community.
For the past month and a half, Richert said Kitts had been driving the vehicle, equipped with a temperature-controlled area for the canine and a special button to allow the dog to be released from outside the vehicle if Kitts needed her.