GRIFFIN, Ga. - The Griffin Police Department is morning the loss of one of its loyal K-9 officers.
Officials said 4-year-old K-9 officer Buddy's handler found him dead in his dog house at approximately 10 a.m. on Feb. 14. The department said K-9 officer Buddy died of natural causes.
Buddy was born Sept.15, 2016, and joined the Griffin Police Department in August 2018 as a member of the K-9 Unit on the Criminal Apprehension and Gang Enforcement Unit and Special Investigation Unit.
Buddy was trained in narcotics, tracking and apprehension. He played a role in a 2020 bust that took $94,215.90 worth of narcotics off of the streets. Buddy recently apprehended an armed suspect safely after they fled into the woods trying to evade arrest.
On Buddy's final day of work, he helped police confiscate 4.4 grams of methamphetamine and arrest the driver of the car on charges of intent to distribute.
Police spokesperson Laurie Littlejohn offered a tribute to Buddy in an official statement:
"K-9 Buddy was an integral part of the Griffin Police Department. He was relied upon by the entire Griffin Police Department as well as the community of the City of Griffin to help in the mission of making the safety and protection of the Citizens of Griffin our number one priority.
"K-9 Buddy, you can now stand down, we will hold the line from here!"