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Stratford Police Say Goodbye to 'Grizzled Vet'

Roscoe, a 13-year-old German shepherd, will soon leave the force after nine years of service.

After nine years of catching bad guys and finding missing persons, Roscoe -- the so-called "grizzled veteran" of the 's K9 unit -- can soon put his paws up and relax.

"It's been a great run," said Roscoe's handler Officer Bob Joy at a retirement ceremony Thursday for the 13-year-old German shepherd. "It's the best job I've had yet in the police department."

It certainly has been a great run for Roscoe, who along with his handler have executed more than 60 successful tracks over the last nine years, according to Police Chief Patrick Ridenhour.

The latest track happened on Aug. 21 when Roscoe helped State Police find a driver who fled the scene of a rollover accident, Ridenhour said.

But even if Roscoe didn't have an impressive record of service, the canine's longevity would be enough to admire.

"[The nine years] is a tremendous feat for a police canine and the longest tenure that I have ever heard of in my 24-year law enforcement career," said Ridenhour, who "affectionately" referred to Roscoe as the "grizzled veteran."

"Although Roscoe can never be truly replaced, we have selected a new canine and handler to fill the spot Roscoe and Officer Joy will soon vacate," Ridenhour said.

The police chief said Officer Rachel Crosby and her canine Bravo are undergoing training to obtain their state-mandated license and should be ready to join the force in late-October or early-November, at which point Roscoe will officially retire.

Ridenhour said this will allow the department to maintain its three K9 unit quota so that each shift has a unit readily available.

Officer Joy will transition to regular patrol once Roscoe retires. Joy will continue to care for Roscoe at his home.

Asked what a typical day might be like for Roscoe after he retires, Joy said: "He'll just relax -- he's good at that."

Feel free to wish Roscoe (I'm sure he's reading this) a happy retirement in the comments section below.

RMA September 14, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Happy Retirement Roscoe! Thanks for all the service you have provided to the Stratford community in making it safe. :)
k-9 lover September 14, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Thanks Roscoe......enjoy retirement.
michele mackenzie September 14, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Nice story...hope u live a longer happy life~~
Peter Myslinski September 15, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Happy retirement Rosco. Relax and enjoy

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