Officials with the Long Beach Township Board of Commissioners took a moment at their regular meeting to honor the memory of Diesel, Long Beach Township's K9 unit dog who passed last week.
The dog had been working with Patrolman Michael Thompson since July 2004. Diesel aided the police department in drug busts and he was trained in criminal apprehension, tracking and locating missing or endangered persons, and article or evidence searches.
Diesel also regularly dazzled crowds with public demonstrations which showcased his obedience, agility, scent work, apprehensions and handler protection. According to information on the Township's website, Diesel and Thompson competed in the 2007 USPCA Region 15 K9 Trials, and took first place in the competition, with a score of 687.32 out of 700.
In a statement posted during the Commissioners meeting, Thompson noted that Diesel had a cancerous mass in his body that had ruptured. He added "it was truly an honor for me to be Diesel's partner. Not only was he a great K9, he was loving and loyal companion." He added, "I lost my partner, friend and a family member."
Interviewed following the meeting, Mayor Joseph H. Mancini said he was "very sad," to hear the news. He was unaware if the Township had plans, at this point, to train another K9 unit.