Hundreds pay respect to PBSO K9 Cigo

Memorial for PBSO K9 CIgo. (WPEC)

A motorcade of law enforcement ushered in K9 Cigo to his memorial service at the Coral Sky Amphitheatre Thursday morning.

Officers, deputies, troopers and first responders all paid their respects to one of their own.

“We all feel it. It is one large family, public safety, law enforcement and fire rescue,” said Chief Larry Willhite of Palm Beach County Fire/Rescue. “When one falls it trickles down through the entire community.”

That statement holds true for Christy Moore, a mother of two with no law enforcement association. She says she and her daughters attended the memorial out of support for the men, women and K9’s who wear the uniform to serve and protect. Upon hearing the news of the loss of PBSO K9 Cigo it brought heartache.

“As soon as I heard the news it definitely brought such as sorrow for the holidays and my heart,” said Moore.

The memorial featured the singing of the national anthem, speeches, prayers and a fly-over.

Sheriff Ric Bradshaw provided opening and closing remarks.

An estimated 3,000 law enforcement officers from a number of agencies attended the memorial.

Cigo, a 3-year-old patrol and explosives detection dog, served on the team to protect President Donald Trump during his trips to West Palm Beach. He was the first PBSO K9 killed in the line of duty.

The shooting happened Dec. 24 in the parking lot of the Mall at Wellington Green. The sheriff's office, acting on a tip, went to the mall to arrest two men wanted on warrants for attempted murder and robbery. One man, 19-year-old Justin Vasquez, surrendered to deputies. Investigators said the second suspect, 28-year-old Giovany Ramos Alvarez, ran and opened fire on deputies, shooting K9 Cigo. Deputies shot back, wounding Alvarez.

As for Moore, this memorial is about showing respect for those who sacrifice everything to make lives safer.

Cigo has been cremated, and the remains will be given to his handler Deputy Ryan Soriano.

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