Montclair State University announced the passing of K-9 Officer Falco, who died August 3, 2015 due to heart disease complications.

"Everyone in the University's Police Department and the entire campus community are saddened by the loss of Falco, our 8-year-old, purebred German Shepherd K-9," said Chief Paul Cell of the University Police Department. "Falco, a familiar and reassuring presence to our students, faculty and staff, was an integral part of our agency and its proactive safety programs. Highly trained and effective, Falco also served the people of New Jersey on behalf of public safety."

Falco was born on January 12, 2007 at The Seeing Eye, located in Morristown, New Jersey.  He graduated from the Essex County Sheriff's K-9 Bomb Unit on July 31, 2009 for Explosive and Handgun Scent Detection.  In 2008, University president Susan A. Cole swore K-9 Falco in to service at Montclair State and University Police Officer Bill Comerro was Falco's handler.

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"He was the best working partner an officer could ever hope for.  He will be missed and never can be replaced. He was big part of our Montclair State family and a big part of my own family," said Officer Comerro.

On call for both the Passaic and Essex County Sheriff's offices, Falco also worked with the Hawthorne, Little Falls, Verona and Livingston police departments, and several Federal agencies. Additionally, Falco participated in numerous DARE and K-9 demos at Bergen, Passaic and Essex County schools, organizations and community events, including schools in Montclair Township.

Falso also served across the State of New Jersey at high-profile events, such as Super Bowl Media Day, and on occasions when President Obama, Governor Christie, dignitaries and celebrities were present.

Chief Cell added, “As with the loss of any Police Department member, we mourn his passing. Our thoughts are with Falco’s handler, Police Officer Bill Comerro, knowing the close bond they formed during Falco’s many dedicated years of service at Montclair State and for New Jersey."

The University Police Department is planning on acquiring another K-9 in the near future.