Community mourns death of dedicated crime fighter; dog handler

Chad Craig Russouw. Picture: Supplied

Chad Craig Russouw. Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 10, 2024


Durban — A crime and drug fighter’s death has been described as a loss for uMhlanga and surrounding communities.

Chad Craig Russouw, 31, died on January 2. He was the owner of Detector Dog, a company specialising in narcotics dog handling and security services.

He actively served and protected his community as a dog handler alongside his loyal companion, Tyson, a Malinois. His father Shaun Russouw said the cause of his son’s death is still under investigation.

Chad’s commitment to community safety was evident as he and Tyson worked tirelessly, combing through schools, assisting law enforcement at roadblocks, and extending a helping hand to those in need on various other fronts, Russouw Sr said.

Chad’s three brothers, Kyle, Dylan, and Kacey, along with his father Shaun, cherished Chad dearly. Known as “the guy you call if you need anything”, Chad was praised for his loyalty, reliability, and willingness to assist at any hour.

“Integrated deeply into his community, Chad left a void that is immeasurable. His legacy is one of care, protection, and selfless giving. Referred to as ‘our soldier’ by his family, Chad fought for his community, saved lives, and endured and overcame numerous challenges throughout his life, including a challenging two weeks in ICU where he remained in a coma.”

Russouw and his dog Tyson. Picture: Supplied

His father also said that Chad’s death has left behind a profound loss, not only for his family but for the community that relied on his unwavering dedication to service.

His family is committed to honouring his legacy by continuing to embody the values of care and giving back that defined Chad’s life.

His friend, Heinz de Boer, said that he first met Russouw almost 10 years ago when he was a ward 34 councillor and Russouw and his father worked as part of the Community Policing Forum and both of them were involved in the security business.

“I collaborated with him on his anti-drug campaign which was his main focus in the final years of his life. He did drug detection at schools, he and his dog Tyson did a lot of anti-drug operations. A lot of people in the local schools would know him from that work. He was dedicated to his work and at the same time a free spirit who loved his family and friends. He was loved by everybody for his easy-going nature but he was tough when he needed to be,” said De Boer.

What stands out for De Boer about Chad was when he asked him to intervene in a domestic violence situation where a woman was beaten mercilessly by her partner with a belt in Phoenix Chad went out of his community with his father to assist in the situation.

He also appeared in an article by the Independent on Saturday in 2019 for his act of bravery when he shielded four children from rampaging gunmen by rolling them down an embankment after a robbery at a tuckshop at Jadhu Place informal settlement, in Springfield, Durban.

His family also posted a YouTube video that was compiled by Carla and Cristina Borges of how they met Chad at Gordon’s Grill where they sang karaoke and he supported them by bringing his entourage of friends.

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