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Retired Cocoa police K-9 dies from natural causes

Cairo joined the Cocoa Police Department in 2011

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COCOA, Fla. – A beloved K-9 from the Cocoa Police Department has passed away, officials said.

K-9 Cairo died from natural causes Wednesday.

The 12-year-old Belgian Malinois joined the Cocoa Police Department in 2011.

Cairo was assigned to Officer Brian Delos Santos and served as a state-certified patrol dog as well as a member of the department’s SWAT team.

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Cairo retired in 2017 due to a hip injury and was commended for his "high drive and motivation to work as a police dog."

"His ability to serve on the SWAT team brought an added layer of protection for SWAT officers during the execution of high risk warrants," the Cocoa Police Department said in a statement.

During Cairo's career with Delos Santos, the team made numerous arrests, searched countless buildings and served high-risk warrants.

“Cairo was a great SWAT dog and was the perfect partner for Brian,” said Lt. Tony Marchica, who oversees the department’s K-9 Unit. “He hit hard and had a lot of drive to work. He served the city well.”

After his retirement, Cairo stayed with Delos Santos and became his family’s beloved pet.