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A faithful and respected member of the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office has passed away.

The Department announced this evening that “Cliff” – a retired canine deputy with the Sheriff’s Office has died at the age of 15.

The German shepherd’s health had been declining for a few months, the department said. He served the county for nine years before his retirement in 2011.

Cliff came from the Czech Republic in 2002 and was assigned his permanent handler Lt. Christopher Bourke.

He was a criminal apprehension dog with a specialty in illegal narcotics. Deputies say he participated in hundreds of illegal narcotics investigations, search warrants and arrests, assisting multiple police agencies.

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