Long Beach Police dog named Ozzy dies in handler's hot car in California

The death, when Ozzy and his handler were off-duty, appears to be accidental.

A Southern California police K-9 named Ozzy died in his handler's hot car, launching a review of equipment and protocols by the department.

The Long Beach Police K-9 and his handler were both off-duty when the officer found Ozzy dead inside the department-issued K-9 vehicle on Aug. 14, according to the Long Beach Police Department.

The death, which was determined to be heat-related, is believed to be an accident, police said.

Ozzy's death was immediately reported to the department, which "initiated a bureau review into all the equipment, our protocols, and circumstances of the accident," police said Friday.

The K-9 vehicles have "fail/sale equipment that is meant to generate an alert," but the police department said it believes the "alert may not have been working."

"Currently, all of our patrol K-9 handlers are checking their Heat System Controller prior to every shift and will continue to do so as part of their daily protocols," police said.

When the bureau review is finished, police said, "the department will assess this tragic accident and ensure it does not happen again."

"Our department is mourning Ozzy's loss as we would with any of our employees," police said.

Ozzy, a half German Shepard and half Belgium Malinois, was trained to detect the smell of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, Long Beach Drug Det. Chris Thue told The Signal Tribune newspaper last year.

Thue said at the time that he had been Ozzy's handler for the last five years and that Ozzy was about 5 and a half years old.

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