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April 2, 2013

Big paws to fill

GREENVILLE — Tributes were paid Monday to one of the Greenville Police Department’s hardest working officers.

K-9 Officer Ceiko was honored during a Monday afternoon retirement ceremony, following an eight-year career performing both patrol and drug interdiction duties.

Ceiko had been partnered with Officer Robert Pemberton since 2007.

“Ceiko and Officer Pemberton have been outstanding assets to the City of Greenville Police Department,” said Police Chief Daniel J. Busken.

Ceiko has been involved in the seizure of more than $1 million in cash and more than 1,500 pounds of illegal drugs since 2007.

“I would say Ceiko has earned his retirement,” Busken said.

During the ceremony, Pemberton passed out several certificates of appreciation to individuals and businesses who have provided products and services for Ceiko.

“We couldn’t accomplish without your support,” Pemberton said.

Ceiko is a German Shepherd imported and trained in Germany. Ceiko and Pemberton have often been contacted by nearby law enforcement agencies to assist with narcotics searches.

Rex, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois will be taking over Ceiko’s duties as K-9 Officer and recently completed his training with Pemberton. The pair traveled to Texarkana to qualify for certification by the United States Police Canine Association. During the certification trials, Rex received first place awards in Narcotics Indoor Search and Patrol Agility, and second place in

Narcotics Vehicle Search, Detector Dog Team, and Overall Detector Dog.

Busken also took time during Monday’s ceremony to thank Officer Mike Johnston, who previously worked alongside Ceiko as well as K-9 Officer LT. Busken noted LT, who served from 1999 to 2005, passed away of natural caused in November 2012 at the age of 15. A plaque in LT’s honor will be placed inside the Community Room of the Police and Courts Building.

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