Winchendon Police Department K9 Officer Clyde dies of cancer – The Gardner News

WINCHENDON – The community is saying a sad farewell to one of its most popular residents.
It was with a heavy heart that the Winchendon Police Department announced on its Facebook page the passing of the town’s first canine officer, Clyde. Officials said the public owed a debt of gratitude to Clyde for the selfless enthusiasm he displayed on the job, whether he was assisting in drug raids, apprehending criminals, or tracking lost citizens.
K9 Clyde began his career in law enforcement nine years ago, working alongside his partner Officer James Wironen. And it wasn’t long before the department treated Clyde as one of its own.
More:Officer Clyde Getting Ready For Patrol
“Clyde became a partner to the officers as much as any of their human counterparts,” explained Police Chief Dan Wolski. “When police officers respond to serious and dangerous calls together, they quickly build bonds and unique relationships as a result of having shared those experiences. Clyde was a part of many calls of such a nature over his career, and officers developed the same type of special bond with him.”
K-9 Clyde quickly became a familiar and popular face at community events such as parades and kids days across Greater Gardner.
“I think people particularly appreciate the notion of ‘man’s best friend’ being a part of the police force,” Wolski explained. “The public was grateful that Clyde bore responsibility of providing a watchful eye over the town and his fellow officers on the department.”
Civilians couldn’t help but be impressed by Clyde’s superior eyesight and sense of smell, Wolski added.
“It was reassuring for the people to know that the department’s chances of apprehending a dangerous criminal, or finding a lost person, was increased as a result of having Clyde,” he said.
More:K9 Clyde keeps working and beats cancer
In 2019, Clyde was diagnosed with lymphoma, and his doctors recommended he immediately begin chemotherapy treatments. But Clyde did not fight his battle alone. Organizations such as the Elks Club, Mathieu Ford in Gardner, and the Winchendon Kiwanis began holding fundraisers, and private donations started to pour in to help Clyde on his road to recovery.
More:Winchendon Kiwanis donate to police K9 Clyde
Wolski said the outpouring of public support while Clyde was battling cancer was a testament to just how much the dog meant to the community.
“The support also demonstrated how generous and caring the people of Winchendon are,” Wolski said. “It further showed that the people of Winchendon supported, not only the K-9 program but their police department, and they were there for us in our time of grief and need. It will forever be appreciated.”
More:Police dog battling lymphoma
Condolences for the Winchendon Police Department on the loss of Clyde began pouring in across social media from other departments.
Noting that Officer Wironen and Clyde had assisted their department in numerous calls, members of the Gardner Police Department sent its thanks and condolences to the Winchendon Police.
“Our thoughts are with our brothers and sisters at the Winchendon Police Department. Officer Wironen and K9 Clyde were a great team,” read a post on the Templeton Police Department Facebook page.
“Thank you for your loyal service, Clyde,” read the post on the Winchendon Police Department Facebook post. “May you rest in peace, you’ve earned it. End of watch: January 5, 2023.”


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