By Tamas Mondovics
Hillsborough County Sherif’s Office (HCSO) Aviation and K-9 units joined forces to carry out a successful operation involving a 24-year-old man with suicidal tendencies.
District I patrol deputies requested the assistance of both Aviation and K-9 to search an area along Lettuce Lake Park.
Deputies said that Aviation arrived on scene first and began searching for the man, followed by K-9 Max and Master Deputy Surrency.
Within a short time, Sheriff’s pilots picked up a heat source and directed Surrency and K-9 Max who quickly located the subject unconscious.
Deputies moved the subject from the thick wooded area to a safe location where EMS administered care.
“The successful search and rescue of the subject was just another example of the fine cooperation between the various units,” said HCSO Spokesman Larry McKinnon.
HCSO’s K-9 units have also made news last month as after nearly a decade of serving the community, K9 Deputy Sheriff, Deuce, a 10-year-old German Shepherd, turned in his badge to begin his much-deserved retirement.
Teamed up with HCSO Deputy Charles Perdomo, Deuce enjoyed the spotlight during a retirement party, complete with a paw-print decorated cake, held last month at the Sheriff’s Aviation hanger at 5808 Wilkens Rd. in Tampa.
Deuce was certified eight years ago as a police K9 dog through the North American Police K9 Association and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
“Deuce has arthritis so the Sheriff’s Office decided it was time for him to slow down and retire,” said Perdomo, a 19-year HCSO veteran who has been with the department’s K-9 unit since 2009.
Deuce was responsible for nearly 250 criminal apprehensions, as well as finding lost children and detecting numerous amounts of illegal narcotics.
Perdomo’s new partner will now be K9 Smoke, a one-and-a-half year old “rookie” German Shepherd, who began his training with his team last month.
As for Deuce, retirement is a great reward for a lifetime of hard work as he will live out the rest of his life pampered at home with Perdomo. For more information about the HCSO’s K-9 Unit, visit www.hcso.tampa.fl.us.