CELINA, Ohio (WDTN) - Celina Police Department’s first canine officer passed away overnight.
Canine Officer NICK, who retired in 2010, died of natural causes, said Chief David Slusser.
A 10-year veteran, Nick was born in Germany in 1999 and became a member of the department in Sept. 2000.
His first assignment, even before training, was to visit Celina Intermediate School, where he met with students, including fifth grade DARE students. Those students eventually chose his American name, NICK. Students picked the name in honor of their DARE instructor at the time, Deputy Nick Schulze.
His long career is attributed to a consistent training program he participated in with his handler Ptl. Dan Harting. Most canine officers serve for five to eight years.
"We have always been very proud of Canine Officer Nick and his service to the community," said Slusser. "We were honored to serve with him and pleased that he was able to spend his last few years enjoying his retirement."
NICK finished out his career as a mentor for Canine Officer TED, who was obtained by the Celina Police Department as his replacement. One of the key elements TED was able to learn from NICK was his social skills and his love of children.
NICK’s last public appearance was at the Ultimate After-School Party on June 01, 2010. Since that time he has lived with his former handler as a family pet.