A K-9 member of the Vineland, NJ Police Department was killed Monday in the line of duty.
At approximately 5:55 a.m. this morning, Clif, a 5-year-old German Shepherd, was hit by a motor vehicle while tracking a suspect that had been breaking into neighborhood vehicles. Clif and his handler, Sgt. William Bontcue, were returning to their vehicle on Becker Ave. when a 75-year-old female driver disregarded an officer’s signal to slow down, swerved to avoid striking another officer, and in doing so, hit Clif.
Clif succumbed to his injuries at approximately 7:00 a.m. at Linwood Veterinary Hospital. Vineland police cited the driver of the vehicle with reckless driving and failure to obey a police officer signal.
Trained for apprehension, building searches, article searches and tracking suspects or missing persons, Clif came to the force from Czechoslovakia in 2008, and had worked with the Patrol Division of the Vineland Police Department since then. Funeral arrangements will be determined by Sgt. Bontcue: information regarding services will be published as they become available.