The Eugene Police Department is heartbroken to announce the death of K9 Cwyk. He died peacefully with his handler and family on February 28. Cwyk was eight years old.
Officer Mike Casey and Sergeant Rob Griesel worked extensively to train Cwyk after the department acquired him in 2017. He was purchased by the Eugene Police Foundation as a replacement for retiring K9 Blek.
Cwyk began training with his handler, Officer Owen Griffith, in October of 2018. They certified as a team that December and hit the streets shortly thereafter. Cwyk and Officer Griffith developed a strong bond immediately. Their trust – along with Cwyk’s excellent tracking ability – led to a number of patrol apprehensions early in their partnership. EPD SWAT soon selected Cwyk for the Tactical K9 team. His ability to work amongst SWAT officers in dangerous environments made him an invaluable tool. He was ever-present at the SWAT office, playing and jumping on tables and causing general, joyful havoc.
Cwyk’s remarkable nose and tireless drive led to dozens upon dozens of captures in the ensuing years. Nothing deterred him – he once tracked a would-be thief through six inches of snow, and another time helped subdue a barricaded subject in a dangerous, SWAT-related CS-gas environment. His tracking ability became the stuff of police dog legend. One of Cwyk’s last days on patrol featured three apprehensions in 90 minutes. He was one of the most talented and successful K9s in EPD’s history.
Cwyk’s work ethic was matched only by his joy. When he wasn’t on patrol, he loved chasing birds, swimming, and biting his ever-present toy tire. Cwyk often visited briefings, jamming his tire into officer’s legs, demanding they play with him.
Cwyk fell ill after after a recent training. Following a multitude of tests, the EPD K9 team and local veterinarians determined it was best to humanely euthanize him. After a full day of playing with family and visiting the SWAT team, Cwyk spent his last moments with a full-mouth grip on his beloved bite pillow, his handler rubbing his ears. We’ll never forget his joyous spirit.