TYLER (KYTX)- Friday, May 16 at 1 p.m. the Tyler PD will retire K-9 Vaio after 10 years of service.
K-9 Officer Vaio joined the Tyler Police Department in 2004. K-9 Vaio started his career with Officer Phillip Johnson. Officer Johnson and Vaio spent a few years together and made numerous arrests, assists with other agencies, and seizures of all kinds of narcotics and property items.
Officer Johnson was selected to join the DEA Task Force in 2010.
Officer Josh Hill was selected to join the K-9 Unit and take over K-9 Vaio. Officer Hill started his tour with Vaio with a 6 week handler course at US K9 Unlimited in Kaplan, Louisiana. Upon completion of the course Officer Hill and Vaio were certified as a team through US K9 Unlimited, and the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association (NNDDA).
Officer Hill and Vaio joined Officer Steve Black and K-9 Paco and began working vigorously against the war on narcotics within the City of Tyler.
Officer Hill and Vaio have assisted numerous other agencies by providing K-9 assistance. Some of these agencies include TX DPS, DEA, FBI, Smith County Sheriff's Office, Winona PD, Overton PD and others.
K-9 Vaio has aided these agencies and has taken everything from grams to pounds of illegal narcotics off of the streets and the highways.
K-9 Vaio has a special place with Officer Hill's family. You will see Vaio in just about every family picture as he is a member of the Hill family.
While working on duty, Officer Hill would occasionally go to Chick-Fil-A for lunch or dinner. The employee's at the restaurant knew Vaio because he would always bark while Officer Hill would place his order. The employee's would ask "Does Officer Vaio want an 8 piece nugget meal?''.
While on duty Vaio couldn't have it but when off the clock, Vaio greatly appreciated nuggets from Chick-Fil-A.
K-9 Vaio was well known throughout the community. Officer Hill and Vaio participated at several schools for Red Ribbon Week, Career Days, and for other activities within the community. K-9 Vaio was well known with the kids for his trail of slobber he would leave on them from kisses.
K-9 Vaio was also known by the criminals within the community. K-9 Vaio is responsible with hundreds of arrests, seizures of narcotics, US currency, vehicles, weapons, and several other items gained with the narcotic trade.
To estimate in a dollar amount of seizures, K-9 Vaio has been a part of over a hundred thousand dollars' worth of seizures within 8 years of service to the department.
K-9 Vaio will retire with full honors from the Tyler Police Department and spend his remaining years with the Hill family.
Officer Hill is extremely grateful to the Department for allowing him to be a part of the K-9 Unit and to work and train with great personnel within the department.