Byline: Mike Burke Daily Herald Staff Writer
Deco, Roselle's police dog who has sniffed out criminals and been a friend to the town's children, has been retired because of health and behavior problems.
The 8-year-old German shepherd has had two emergency surgeries in the last 18 months. He also bit a police department employee after returning to work recently, village officials said.
Deco has been on the job since 1995. His name, short for Drug Enforcement Canine Officer, was selected in a contest involving the community's school children.
Many kids have gotten to know Deco and his handler, Officer Dennis Medema, through their Drug Abuse Resistance Education classes in school or at community events like the Rose Parade.
His other job-related duties include sniffing out drugs or tracking missing and lost persons.
Police Chief Richard Eddington said Deco's most recent surgery occurred after he was kicked in the mouth by a person who was being placed under arrest. As a result of the anesthesia administered to repair a chipped tooth, Deco's stomach twisted, requiring immediate surgery to repair the damage, he said.
Previously, Deco had undergone surgery for an intestinal problem.
After his most recent surgery, Deco was unable to fully recover and perform at the high level of activity required of a police dog, Eddington said. …