- Associated Press - Saturday, January 30, 2016

MARIETTA, Ohio (AP) - A retired Ohio police officer wants to purchase his longtime K9 partner but the town says he’s going to have bid for him.

Recently retired Marietta officer Matt Hickey wants to buy his partner, Ajax. He’s offered to buy the dog for $3,500 - Ajax’s estimated value. But the city says Ajax must be sold at auction because he’s public property.

A GoFundMe page set up to help buy Ajax has raised more than $24,000 as of Saturday. The page says excess funds will go toward buying protective vests for other K9 officers.

Hickey told WBNS-TV (https://bit.ly/1WSTGq5) he’s had the Ajax for three years and that he’s like a family member.

Marietta officials say they’ll only allow a police officer, active or retired, or a trainer of police dogs to bid on Ajax.

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