Lafayette to retire K-9 Officer Tico after 8 years of service

LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A beloved member of the Lafayette Police Department is retiring: Tico, the department's 10-year-old K-9 officer.

Tico, a Belgian Malinois, has worked with handler Officer Albert Demello since joining the department in 2006.

During his career, Tico has been involved in more than 1,600 police-related deployments. Lafayette police said he assisted in the arrest of numerous suspects, as well as the confiscation of more than 64 pounds of marijuana, 7 pounds of cocaine, 3 ounces of methamphetamine, 11 ounces of crack cocaine and 1 ounce of heroin.

GALLERY: More pictures of Tico -- http://bit.ly/19XkJcr

"Now, instead of sniffing out criminals and illegal narcotics, Tico will have a well-deserved life of leisure," said LPD Cpt. Neil Dale.

Dale said Tico's retirement comes on the heels of persistent hip problems as a result of age and 8 years of service.

Tico's official retirement date is Nov. 11. The department is in the process of funding a replacement dog. Demello will continue his assignment with the new K-9 officer.

"It will be difficult to see Tico at home when he still wants to work every day," Demello said in a press release.

Officers Demello and Tico will be honored for their service at the Lafayette City Council meeting on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m.

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