February 10, 2011: "Basco" passed away on Thursday, February 10, 2011. "Basco" spent more than 8 years with the Augusta Department of Public Safety as the agencies first dual purpose K9. "Basco" was between 11 and 12 years old and apparently died of natural causes. His handler, Sgt. Chad McCluskey, was with "Basco."
"He was my guardian, my protector…he was my friend,
He was my eyes and my ears, protecting me ‘til the end.
He was a well trained machine, helping me fight crime,
He was a force to be reckoned with if it came the time.
He was devoted to me for most of his years,
He was loving, he was loyal, with very few fears.
He was an amazing Belgian Malinois, like I’ve never seen,
He was my buddy, my pal, he was part of me.
He was…my partner!"
~Chad McCluskey, Augusta Department of Public Safety