Lenexa police have lost one of their own.
The department tweeted Tuesday morning to announce the death of Diesel, a retired police dog who spent eight years on the force. He was about 11 years old.
“If we could describe him with 1 word, it would be INTENSE!” the tweet said.
Diesel, a Dutch shepherd, retired in 2015 after a successful career. He helped in 63 drug cases and the seizure of $77,000. He helped track down 35 criminal suspects.
In 2008 Diesel received a donated bulletproof vest.
And in 2009 Diesel and his handler, Officer Ryan Sumner, finished first in a competition sponsored by the National Police Canine Association. Diesel and Speedy, another Lenexa police K9, outperformed 19 other dog teams in skills such as tracking, obedience, tactical movement and obstacle course navigation.
The competition included being confronted by an armed decoy.
“It is very true-to-life and puts both the dog and handler in a stressful situation,” Sumner said at the time. “The dog picks up on the handler’s stress and has to perform well in spite of it. Our dogs did so well under that stress, just like they do at home.”
The Lenexa Police Department’s K9 unit was formed in 1974. It now has three canines on duty.