Newberry Township Police Department's K-9 Tazer dies

Newberry Township's dual-purpose K-9 officer Tazer

Newberry Township Police K-9 Tazer died Wednesday night after serving the department for more than eight years.

In a Wednesday, Jan. 23, Facebook post, the department stated Tazer's "health recently deteriorated to the point that he had to be laid to rest today." 

The 8-year-old German shepherd from the Czech Republic served the department with handler Sgt. Christopher Martinez since November 2010, and he specialized in patrol, narcotics detection and tracking, according to officials.

More:Police: Newberry Twp. K-9 snags wanted man

Tazer: Chief Steve Lutz said officers were not informed that Tazer was sick until the night of Tuesday, Jan. 23. The chief said Tazer had what was vets said was an aggressive form of bone cancer. 

“He had been working up until about a week ago," Lutz said the morning of Thursday, Jan. 24.

He said there was no indication that Tazer was ill. The illness, he said, took Tazer's vision.

The chief said Tazer was well-received in the community. When Tazer was taken to schools, he would deal with kids well, according to Lutz. 

Tazer helped several agencies in the region and received two Medals of Valor, a Meritorious Service Medal and four commendations from the police chief.

The chief said Tazer assisted every county department in "one fashion or another."

Lutz said he intends on continuing the K-9 program with the department, but it is too soon to say when that might happen. He said the department is going to take time to heal first.

"He was truly one of us," Lutz said.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.