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Favorite Bainbridge Island police officer to retire

He's spent more than eight years on the job sniffing out crime, but now it's time for one of Bainbridge Island's finest to hang up his leash.

Rusty, the Bainbridge Island Police Department's K-9 officer, will retire from service at the end of February.

“Officer Rusty is an exceptional dog who consistently provided good and faithful service to Bainbridge Island, and he will be missed,” said Interim Public Safety Director Larry Dickerson.

Over his years of service, Rusty completed 214 searches for controlled substances. He successfully located 547 illegal items. Rusty also assisted with 181 arrests, 12 vehicle impounds and cash seizures amounting to more than $131,000.

He was so good at his job that other agencies from Bremerton to U.S. Customs and even the U.S. Postal Service sought him for help.

But his fellow officers won't let him go without a decent party. Rusty will be given an honorable send-off at the city council's meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 27.

Officer Dale Johnson, Rusty's partner, will remain with the department, while Officer Victor Cienega will take over the K-9 program.

Cienega's K-9 partner has yet to be selected but will join the department later this year.

Rusty will live with Johnson during his retirement.

Islanders are invited to congratulate Rusty with bones, biscuits, treats and toys, which may be directed to Officer Johnson at the police station.

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