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JOEL CURRIER and KIM BELL
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

St. Charles County-- St. Charles police Officer Grant Jansen was a family man, a tough but fair cop who loved his career, kids and canine partner, said friends and colleagues.
"He was a fantastic officer, a hard worker, dedicated to his work and his family," said St. Charles Police Lt. Donovan Kenton.
Jansen, 42, was killed early Wednesday morning while driving home with his police dog in a one-car crash in St. Peters, authorities said. He was heading south on Spencer Road across from the Tour 3 Golf Course when his patrol car ran off the road, flipped several times and caught fire.
A passer-by saw his car on fire and called police about 2:45 a.m.
Kenton said Jansen had just gotten off work from his shift patrolling Main Street.
Jansen had been in law enforcement 20 years and spent the past 13 in St. Charles as a K-9 officer. Before joining St. Charles police, Jansen was a corrections officer and patrolman with the St. Charles County Sheriff's Department.
Jansen was thrown from his car and died at the accident scene, authorities said. It was not clear whether he was wearing his seat belt. On Wednesday, orange flags marked the cruiser's path down a steep grassy embankment toward a charred black spot where the car stopped and burned.
Jansen's police dog, Czar, rode in the back seat and also was ejected during the crash, but was not hurt, police said.
St. Peters police Officer Melissa Doss said the part of two-lane Spencer Road where Jansen's car crashed has enough of a curve to warrant a warning sign. Jansen's police car left the road along that curve, she said. Police do not know what caused the crash and are asking witnesses to call St. Peters police at 636-278-2222.
"He'd do anything for anybody," said Deputy Nick Lineback, 27, a K-9 officer with the sheriff's department who often trained with Jansen. "He never complained. He was happy about having a good job and going to work."
Jansen's work with Czar included nabbing drug dealers along Interstate 70. Jansen and his dog have been credited with seizing millions of dollars worth of illegal drugs and cash.
Czar, a German shepherd, was nearly forced to retire in 2006 after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. But Czar was able to return to work as Jansen's partner.
Lineback's partner, sheriff's Deputy Tony Hojsik, 37, said Jansen gave him his drug dog, Bach, a 3-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever, after Czar healed. Bach still rides in the back seat of Hojsik and Lineback's patrol car.
"It's kind of like we've got a piece of Grant in our back seat," Lineback said Wednesday.
Czar is now being cared for by another K-9 handler with the St. Charles Police Department, Kenton said.
Jansen is survived by his wife, Annette, a St. Charles police dispatcher; a son, Tyler; and a daughter, Paige.
Funeral arrangements were pending Wednesday.

Story From: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 
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