Every dog has his day. For Arko, that day was Aug. 13.

That's when the Crossville Police Department K-9's retirement became official via the Crossville City Council decommissioning his status on the police force.

“He's aged out of service,” Deputy Police Chief Chris Kendrick told Council members during an Aug. 6 work session. “It's time for him to ease out and become a personal pet.”

The 8-year-old German shepherd's crime-fighting career has been a success. He's assisted handler Kendrick and his law-enforcement brethren in all facets of the job, including drug arrests and apprehending suspects evading investigations into burglaries and thefts. The duo has also assisted both the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office and Tennessee Highway Patrol.

“He's got injured on the job a few times, and he's got a little bit of hip action going on that's slowing him down,” Kendrick noted during the workshop.

Most dual-purpose K-9s retire between ages 7-9, Kendrick wrote in a June 1 memorandum to his supervisor, Police Chief Jessie Brooks. Arko, who has been on the job since he was 2, retired Jan. 1. The decommissioning means Arko will no longer be eligible to work as a K-9 officer for Crossville or any other law-enforcement agency.

The partnership between Kendrick and Arko, however, continues. Arko is spending his retirement years in Kendrick's home as his pet. As part of the decommissioning and retirement, Kendrick signed an agreement in which he affirms he will care for and keep Arko healthy. 

“Each dog differs on when they are going to retire, due to drive and things like that,” Kendrick told the Council.