TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - It was with a heavy heart that the Tucson Police Department reported the death of K9 Rigz after an illness.
Rigz became a member of the Tucson Police Department in September 2012 and served actively until his retirement in October 2017.
He and his handler, Officer Jason Bentley were members of the TPD S.W.A.T Team and were involved in numerous high risk operations. According to Officer Bentley, Rigz was always eager to be first in the door when his name was called.
The TPD K9 had several high profile arrests during his career, with the most memorable being the capture and successful prosecution of a homicide suspect in 2015. The incident occurred in November of that year, when Rigz and Officer Bentley responded to the report of a home invasion that turned into a homicide. A suspect had forced his way into an apartment near Broadway and Campbell and demanded money from an elderly couple, when the couple was unable to give the suspect money, he assaulted them with a blunt instrument.
A manhunt took place, led by Rigz and Officer Bentley. After a long search Rigz alerted to the front of a home, indicating the suspect was hiding close by. The suspect was located and after refusing to surrender, Rigz was sent in to get him out.
According to the TPD, the suspect was recently convicted and is serving a prison sentence of more than 35 years.
This success was thanks to Rigz and his tireless search of the neighborhood for the suspect.
Rigz was a social and energetic dog that loved his handler Bentley and family. According to Bentley Rigz often finding random items at home and hiding them in his doghouse. He also enjoyed sitting by the pool on the weekends and his short retirement with his family before he became ill.
The entire Tucson Police Department and specifically the TPD K9 Unit and S.W.A.T. Team are thanking Rigz for his years of unwavering dedication and relentless service to the department and the community.