BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A special retirement ceremony was recently held for a member of the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal who served as a lesson in hard work.
Colleagues and agents from all across the area was in attendance to see the old man off. At nearly 98, he has certainly put his time in and earned a good retirement and retirement party.
"Those arrests have been invaluable to the State Fire Marshal's office," said State Fire Marshal Butch Browning. "His ability helped us greatly."
With a specialty in investigating arsons, his career in law enforcement, specifically with the state fire marshal's office, has led to dozens of arrests over the years.
But at age 98 (in dog years), because he is actually 14, it is time for 'ol "Darge," one of the longest serving detector dogs in the history of the state fire marshal's office, to hang it up.
Darge first started at the State Farm Arson Dog Program. Working alongside his partner for life, his nose helped investigators all over the state make cases against the bad guys.
"You really are closer to him than you are your family, because you spend so much time with them," said District Chief Lance Lamarca, Darge's partner and owner. "When you go to work, you leave your family behind. With him, you take your dog with you."
Darge will live out his retirement with Lamarca and his family. It is a fitting salute to the old man from his fellow colleagues.
"The state will never go bankrupt off of his retirement package, that's for sure. We got him a plaque and we'll keep feeding him. So, it's a good thing," Browning added.