Bear, a chocolate Lab that works with the Lancaster County Drug Task Force and has helped detectives seize heroin, cocaine, marijuana and other illegal substances, has turned in his badge, according to his handler, Detective Anthony Lombardo.
On a post on Bear's social media pages, Lombardo wrote that "Bear is unharmed, happy, healthy, and living at with me."
"Bear’s 2.5 years of being a full time member of the Lancaster County Drug Task Force; his drive, unique skills, and aptitude for detection work led to an extraordinary amount illicit substances being taken off of Lancaster County streets," the post continued.
Bear also took part in a $1.3 billion cocaine bust in Philadelphia in June 2019, helped put a former Lancaster city drug kingpin back behind bars and assisted in a record methamphetamine seizure in the city.
In 2019, he took part in about 110 searches and operations at houses, storage units and vehicles, up from about 100 in 2018, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney's office.
Bear, who was born in Las Vegas, was only the third drug-sniffing K-9 in the 31-year history of the drug task force, with the last retiring more than a dozen years ago, according to LNP | LancasterOnline reporting.
Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams said Bear's retirement was in tandem with Lombardo's decision to accept a possession with his police department, Manheim Township, but praised the duo for their work in Lancaster County.
"Detective Lombardo and Bear had major impact in taking illegal substances off the streets and removing predatory dealers from our communities," Adams said in a statement to LNP | LancasterOnline. "We will explore the possibility of another K-9 working with the Task Force in the future, as we continue discussions on the Task Force as a whole."
She added that the drug task force is here to stay and said she was focused on "ensuring it functions effectively for years to come."