KINGSTON -- It can be tough when any officer retires from a police department, including four-legged officers from the K9 unit. Kingston Police in Luzerne County are retiring Stinger, an eight-year-old Doberman that recently got sick.
For six years, Kingston Police Sergeant Sam Blaski's day would never start alone, always working side by side with Stinger.
"This dog, I don't think I could ever outdo this dog. He was great," said Blaski. "I really took an interest in the Dobermans but they're very hard to find because they really aren't active in police work anymore."
Stinger was the exception to the rule, helping with search warrants and drug busts.
"I think he seized $15,000 cash and probably a street value of heroin of maybe $30,000."
But Stinger was forced to retire when Sergeant Blaski, his handler, learned the dog had cancer.
"The two tumors are inoperable because of his age and where they're located," said Blaski.
It's a loss that stings everyone in the department.
"It leaves a hole, not only with the department but personally with me."
Chief Michael Krzywicki said he started the K9 program in Kingston, a program that requires a lot of training.
"It's intense, but it's ongoing. We require a minimum of 16 hours in a month," said Krzywicki.
Stinger's gone from that to being a family dog for Sergeant Blaski.
"He's getting used retirement. He's eating what he wants now," said Blaski.
Blaski and Krzywicki said he deserves it.
Stinger will be honored Monday at a retirement ceremony in Kingston.