Garden City PD's first full service K-9 passes away - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Garden City PD's first full service K-9 passes away

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Vinnie (Source: Garden City Police Dept.) Vinnie (Source: Garden City Police Dept.)

Vinnie, the Garden City Police Dept.'s first full service police K-9, passed away on Monday from natural causes. He was 13 years old.

Vinnie was an imported German Shepherd that worked at the agency from 2003 to 2010.

He was a dual purpose K-9, specializing in detecting illegal narcotic odor, tracking individuals and engaging in criminal apprehension.

He was handled by Jim Griner for the bulk or his career, but later in his career he was handled by Corporal Mick Lutz.

One highlight of Vinnie's career involved the apprehension of a suspect fleeing the scene of an armed robbery and homicide in 2005. Thanks to Vinnie's apprehension of the suspect, investigators were able to identify and arrest five people for the 2005 murder and armed robbery of Vipin Patel, owner to the Kwikway on Highway 80.

Vinnie received several certifications and awards during his career, including the training and certifying with the NASA K-9 unit at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Vinnie spent his retirement with former Garden City Police officer Larry Middleton.

A memorial escort of K-9 Vinnie's remains will begin at the Garden City Police Dept. on Tuesday at noon.

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