The Marlboro Police Department lost one of their own early in September, when one of their first K-9 dogs died after a battle with Degenerative Myelopathy, a nerve disorder that has caused him to lose feeling first in his back legs and then progressively up his body.
Vaik was handled and owned by Officer Joe Chaplinski, who began the K-9 program in 2002 with Officer Joe Armineo.
Vaik, a German Shepard, trained in narcotics and was responsible for hundreds of service calls, including one during which he sniffed out 10 pounds of marijuana in the trunk of a car.
When Vaik was retired in 2010, Chaplinski took ownership of his partner and officially brought him into his family, taking care of all of the dog's medical needs.
In an interview with Patch last year, Chaplinski said taking on Vaik's needs was never a question. To Chaplinski, Vaik was an added officer on the force.
"That’s my boy, he’s my kid. The bond between a handler and a dog is forever.”