K9 Ozzy

Long Beach Police Department K-9 Ozzy, pictured here, was found dead by his handler inside a department vehicle on Aug. 14 possibly from heat.

Long Police police have launched an internal investigation a few weeks after a K-9 was found dead in his handler’s department vehicle, the department announced Wednesday, Aug. 28.

Ozzy was found dead by his handler on Aug. 14, in the K-9 vehicle, while the two were off-duty at about 3:40 p.m., police said in a statement last week. A preliminary veterinarian exam found that Ozzy’s cause of death was heat-related, officials said.

Last week, Long Beach police said that the incident was not intentional and preliminarily believed it was an accident, due to equipment failure.

On Wednesday, the department announced an internal investigation was launched.

“After conducting a review of the circumstances surrounding the death of K-9 Ozzy,” the statement said, “the department has initiated an internal affairs investigation to obtain additional facts and information pertaining to the incident.”

The department said that a bureau review into the equipment, protocols and circumstances of the accident was initiated immediately after Ozzy’s death.

Long Beach Police Department K-9 vehicles are fitted with fail/safe equipment that is meant to generate an alert. Last week, a department spokeswoman said officials believed the alert system may have not been working.

Police did not include any details about the equipment or how it could have prevented the K-9’s death. Officials also did not reveal how long Ozzy was in the car or who his handler was.

The high temperature on Aug. 14 was 88 degrees in Long Beach, but officials did not disclose whether the handler and K-9 were in the city at the time of Ozzy’s death.

Police said no further information will be provided until the internal affairs investigation has concluded.

“As we continue to mourn the loss of Ozzy,” the Wednesday statement said, “we understand the emotional impact this is having on our community and our employees.”

Load comments