Ohio DNR natural resources officer dies in line of duty

Odnr Officer Dies
Natural resources officer Jason Lagore and his K-9 partner, Sarge. (Ohio DNR)

HILLSBORO, Ohio — The Ohio DNR announced on Feb. 24 that it had lost an officer in the line of duty.

Natural resources officer Jason Lagore died while responding to a call at Rocky Fork State Park on Feb. 23.

“Our hearts are with the family and loved ones of officer Jason Lagore, who died in the line of duty last night,” said Ohio DNR (ODNR) Director Mary Mertz. “Our law enforcement officers and their families carry a unique and challenging burden of responsibilities, and we are deeply grateful for their service.”

Officer Lagore was responding to a call at Rocky Fork State Park in Highland County just before 6:30 p.m. on reports that two people had fallen through the ice near the North Shore boat docks. During the search, officer Lagore suffered a medical emergency and was taken to Highland District Hospital in Hillsboro, Ohio, where he was pronounced deceased.

A 13-year-old male who fell through the ice was able to get out of the water. He was taken to the hospital in stable condition. The second victim, a 16-year-old female, was recovered by divers unresponsive. She was transported to the hospital but was later pronounced deceased.

ODNR is leading the ongoing investigation into the incident.

Officer Lagore was a dedicated officer, having served 15 years with the Ohio DNR. He was responsible for the first ODNR K-9 academy, led the Division of Parks and Watercraft K-9 training program, and was well respected across the state for his expertise working with K-9s.

When he wasn’t working, officer Lagore enjoyed deer and turkey hunting, loved history, and enjoyed vacations with his family.

Officer Lagore is survived by his wife, Michelle, his two young sons, and his K-9 partner, Sarge.

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