K-9 found dead in Camden police cruiser
CAMDEN - August 13, 2012 (WPVI) -- A beloved K-9 with the Camden Police Department died in a hot police cruiser when the vehicle's air conditioning malfunctioned.
Serge - a German shepherd - joined the force only a few months ago.
The young dog was found lifeless in his cage inside of a police cruiser last Thursday. On a sweltering 92-degree day, police say the air conditioning cut off and the backup system failed.
Camden police officers are grieving his loss.
Serge spent 16 weeks last spring training in explosives, crowd control and sociability with Officer Gabe Rodriguez at the Atlantic County K-9 police academy.
"He had already captured a bank robbery suspect and had assisted in several other apprehensions as well," said Chief Scott Thomas.
The team of two was preparing for post-graduation success manning the crime-ridden streets of Camden.
"No one is more devastated by this than Officer Rodriguez and his family," said Thomas.
It's a tragic loss for Officer Rodriguez and a major loss for local law enforcement.
"He put a lot of work into him - a lot of love and care and the dog responded. He was one of the top dogs in the class," said Officer Joe Rodriguez.
Police say it's normal to leave a K-9 in a cruiser for four to five hours at a time with the air conditioner running.
Last week, when the vehicle malfunctioned, a specialized alarm system should have sounded, the windows should have opened and emergency fans should have turned on.
It's unclear why the system failed.
"These vehicles are inspected every day before an officer heads out on street patrol. We've launched a full blown investigation to see what happened with this vehicle," said Chief Thomas.
The police department has hired an independent mechanic to investigate why the car malfunctioned.
new jersey, camden, police, local/state, jennifer joyce
- McNabb serves 1-day sentence after DUI arrest 30 min ago
- Frost Advisory Overnight
- Get the 6abc StormTracker app
- WATCH: Action News Online
- Police: Brandywine Park flasher surrenders
- Stalkers have QVC host living in fear 51 min ago
- 13 pound baby born at Delco hospital 53 min ago
- Police: Elderly man targeted in Chester home invasion 33 min ago
- Reward offered in poisoning of puppy
- Police: NJ mom drives van into river with 3 kids 56 min ago
- WWII vet gets anonymous surprise in Warminster 43 min ago
- Beau Biden to run for governor in Del.
- Mom surrenders after daughter, 11, shot and killed
- Video: Pa. contender in Sriracha search for new home 23 min ago
- McNabb serves 1-day sentence after DUI arrest
30 min ago
- Heist investigation leads to Roxborough...
21 min ago
- Stalkers have QVC host living in fear
51 min ago