YORKTOWN, N.Y. – One of the Yorktown Police Department's finest was put to sleep Tuesday.
Caesar, the department's K-9 German shepherd for the past six years, died after suffering kidney failure. He was trained with and assigned to Police Officer Jason Swart.
"He was a tremendous asset to our crime fighting in Yorktown," said Lt. Kevin Soravilla. "He was very close to a lot of people here and will be sorely missed. He was a good dog."
Swart, who is married and has a dog of his own, said Caesar became a part of his family at work and at home.
"Everybody is feeling the devastation of his loss right now," Swart said. "His asset to the department was just tremendous. You almost take for granted how well he did his job."
One of two K-9s in the department, Caesar was invaluable locating missing people, tracking down crime suspects and sniffing out drugs, Swart said. In one incident, Caesar found $10,000 in cash as part of a drug bust.
"Their ability to locate drugs is just unbelievable," Swart said. "We even went to other jurisdictions to help. He did the everyday things you almost take for granted."
Yorktown has had a K-9 program since 1975 and two dogs for dozens of years, Swart said. He said it would be a mistake for town officials not to spend $6,000 for a new, untrained dog.
"We are really hoping the town understands the need and supports the purchase. It would be a foolish idea to say we don't need a second dog," Swart said.