Health and age issues have prompted the retirement of a Smithfield Police K-9. Diesel is 10 years-old and has been a part of the Smithfield Police Department for the last 9 years with his handler Officer Jordan Cutchins.
Over the last few months Diesel had experienced issues with his hips and has started to show signs of slowing down. He had emergency surgery on his stomach and has been having difficulty maintaining a healthy weigh ever since, Police Chief Keith Powell told members of the Smithfield Town Council.
Due to Diesel’s age, Chief Powell recommended, and the town council agreed, to allow the K-9 to retire and remain with Officer Cutchin’s as a family pet. Cutchins will be allowed to keep Diesel as long as he is not used as a law enforcement K-9 after his retirement.
“Officer Cutchins has done a phenomenal job with his K-9 Partner Diesel since they became partners,” Chief Powell told JoCoReport. “Diesel has assisted Officer Cutchins and the other members of the department in locating narcotics, stolen articles, and missing persons. Diesel has been a valuable member of the department and he will be missed by all.”
With Diesel’s retirement this month, it temporarily leaves the Smithfield Police Department without a K-9 on the force.
Officer Cutchins did not reapply to be a K-9 handler. Officer Brian Sittig was selected to the next K-9 officer and will begin a 6-week training course in November with the new K-9 Karuz. Karuz should be on the force by the first of the year. Sittig has been with the Smithfield Police Department the last 6 years.
Chief Powell hopes to add an additional K-9 to the police force during the 2020-2021 fiscal year. The cost to purchase and train a new police K-9 is approximately $14,000.