The Trumbull Police Department has lost one of its most highly regarded officers.
K9 Cyrus passed away unexpectedly Tuesday morning, according to a post from the Trumbull Police Department's Facebook page.
The eight-year-old German Shepherd served on the force for the last seven years and most recently was credited with locating 12.5 kilos of heroin during a motor vehicle stop.
"It is with deep sadness that the Trumbull Police Department announces that K9 Cyrus has passed away unexpectedly," the post said. "In his career, he has assisted in making numerous felony arrests, locating missing persons and assisting with numerous drug arrests, including [a] large heroin seizure [last month].
"Most importantly, he was a great partner to Officer RJ Carlson and a beloved member of both the Carlson Family and the TPD family," the post continued. "He will be greatly missed."
In speaking with The Times Monday, Chief Michael Lombardo and First Selectman Tim Herbst each mentioned the importance of the department's K9 officers in stopping the spread of heroin in town.
"I can’t think of one thing that Chief Lombardo hasn’t done to address the problem," said Herbst. "He's taken a holistic approach in his 18 months here, ranging from getting SROs back in schools to getting the K9s drug certified and trained for opiate detection.

"And those K9 officers are a real deterrent to students," he added. "I think when they see them sniffing the school hallways it sends shockwaves that we mean business."

Before the passing of his officer, Chief Lombardo said Monday that Cyrus and fellow K9 Storm had been used to make a large heroin bust earlier month in Bridgeport.

He applauded their service and recognized their value to the department, as well to the Town of Trumbull.

"In terms of accessibility, there's a tremendous amount of traffic throughout town stemming from Route 25, Route 127, Route 111, and Route 8," Chief Lombardo said. "There's a lot to do and a lot of room to cover but having a police presence everywhere is a lot easier with our certified and capable K9 officers.

"They're a great asset to us and this community," he added.

Back on February 12, Trumbull police officers RJ Carlson and Gregory Lee, along with K9s Cyrus and Storm, completed their national certified-level classes after seven months of training.

Months prior, generous Trumbull residents helped raise almost $14,000, in five shorts days, to help the town’s police department send its K9 officers to school in New Milford to be cross-trained in narcotics detection.

The two K9s and their handlers were trained in evidence recovery, urban trafficking, building searches, and advanced tactical operations.

Videos

The police department has posted two videos of the procession for Cyrus on Facebook.

One can be seen here featuring Trumbull police officers, personnel, and clinic staff saluting K9 Cyrus for his service.

The other is of K9 Cyrus being escorted to Mobile Veterinary Clinic where he was cared for.

"He will be missed by all," the post said.