K-9 officer to retire at ceremony today

Published on Friday, 16 May 2014 00:11 - Written by From Staff Reports

The Tyler Police Department plans to hold a retirement ceremony today for one of the department’s K-9 officers

According to the department, K-9 Officer Vaio joined the Tyler Police Department in 2004 with Officer Phillip Johnson.

A press release stated Officer Johnson and Vaio spent a few years together and made numerous arrests, assists with other agencies, and seizures of all kinds of narcotics and property items.

When Johnson was selected to join the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force in 2010 Vaio was partnered with officer Josh Hill.

Hill and Vaio have assisted numerous other agencies by providing K-9 assistance, including  the Texas Department of Public Safety, the DEA, FBI, Smith County Sheriff’s Office, Winona Police Department, Overton Police Department and others.

Vaio has aided these agencies and taken everything from grams to pounds of illegal narcotics off of the streets and highways.

While working on duty, Hill would occasionally go to Chick-fil-A for lunch or dinner. The employee’s at the restaurant knew Vaio because he always would bark while  Hill placed his order.

The employees would ask “Does Officer Vaio want an eight-piece nugget meal?’’ While on duty, Vaio couldn’t have it, but when off the clock, the dog greatly appreciated the nuggets, according to the press release.

Vaio is responsible with hundreds of arrests, seizures of narcotics, U.S. currency, vehicles, weapons, and several other items gained with the narcotic trade.

Vaio will retire with full honors from the Tyler Police Department and spend his remaining years with the Hill family.

The ceremony is today at 1 p.m. at the police department.