Evesham Council honors retired police K-9 Ciko and his handler

Council honored Sgt. Dan Burdette and K-9 Ciko to mark Ciko’s recent retirement from the department after six years of service.

From left: Sgt. Dan Burdette is congratulated by Evesham Chief of Police Christopher Chew, Evesham Police K-9 Ciko enjoys a steak after his last shift, Burdette and Ciko in a police graphic.

Evesham Council honored two police officers at this week’s Evesham Council meeting — one with two legs and one with four.

Council honored K-9 handler Sgt. Dan Burdette and Evesham Police K-9 Ciko with a proclamation to mark Ciko’s recent retirement from the department after six years of service.

Although Ciko hurt his paw earlier in the day and could not attend the meeting, Burdette, who joined the department in 2004, said it had been an honor serving with Ciko.

Ciko’s history with the department dates to 2011 when Burdette and Ciko graduated from the John Sonny Burke K-9 Academy as a narcotics/patrol team to replace former Evesham K-9 Dyos, who had retired due to age.

According to Evesham Chief of Police Christopher Chew, Ciko has helped arrest more than 350 individuals during his time with the department and helped recover more than $2.3 million in drug proceeds.

Chew said there have also been several occasions where Burdette and Ciko were able to locate individuals who had assaulted police officers and fled the scene on foot.

Several years ago, the 200 Club of Burlington County also awarded Burdette and Ciko the club’s Meritorious Service Award for the apprehension and arrest of a suspect who threatened to kill an attendant at the 7-Eleven on Evesboro-Medford Road with a knife during the course of a robbery in January 2014.

Although the suspect fled the scene after the robbery, Burdette and Ciko were able to track the individual through woods and various neighborhoods before finally catching and arresting the suspect.

“We were able to have a dangerous person sentenced to jail as a result of Sgt. Burdette’s hard work and determination,” Chew said.

Chew went on to described the two as one of the department’s most successful K-9 teams in the history of the department.

“For those who follow us on Facebook, you always see headlines like ‘Ciko apprehends another subject’ and ‘Ciko locates missing adult lost in the woods’ and basically what I wanted to do is give an opportunity for mayor and council to highlight and give some accolades to Sgt. Burdette and his partner,” Chew said.

For those unfamiliar with the department’s K-9 unit, Chew described it as a job that lasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with dogs living with their handlers and becoming part of their families, even through retirement.

Burdette said he has two children, ages 5 and 7, who get along great with Ciko while Ciko is resting at home.

“He sleeps in the laundry room,” Burdette said. “It’s like his own little area. He loves it.”

In reading from the proclamation he awarded to Burdette and Ciko, Mayor Randy Brown thanked the two for their service to the township and said they had learned to rely on trust as they’ve responded to dangerous and unpredictable operations.

“A successful partnership in law enforcement is one that based on such trust and loyalty, and it’s why the retirement of an officer poses a significant impact to not only his partner, but the police department,” Brown said.

With Ciko’s retirement, Chew said the dog will be replaced by K-9 Officer Joseph Czyzewski Jr. and the department’s newest K-9, Moose.

Although Ciko was not at the meeting to celebrate his proclamation, Ciko did celebrate after his last shift with the department in May when he ate a large steak courtesy of Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse.