ENID, Okla. — Retired Enid Police Department K-9 Duco was honored Friday during an end-of-watch ceremony at Garfield County Sheriff's Office.

Duco, a Belgian Malinois, served more than nine years with the department with partners Officer Steve Miller and Sgt. Ryan Fuxa. He retired in September 2016 and passed away Jan. 5.

Pastor Dave Jones led the ceremony before area law enforcement officers, friends and family.

"We're glad all of you are here to support the family and the department at this time, to pay honor for one who has served," Jones said. "I know for the family, it's hard to lose a partner, whether it be a two-legged or four-legged kind."

Jones gave a eulogy in the words Duco would use, telling stories from the dog's career.

"I remember my first day, meeting my new handler, as an interesting day," Jones said. "You're always told not to bite the hand that feeds you, and I decided to test this by biting the hand of my new handler Steve Miller."

Jones also recounted the story of Duco being banned from Quail Springs Mall by the Oklahoma County sheriff for biting a PVC pipe during training, which subsequently flooded three stores before the leak could be stopped.

During his years with Enid Police Department, Duco earned a few nicknames, including "The Wrecking Crew" and "The Punisher."

Jones also recounted Duco's memory of being paired with his second handler, Fuxa.

"I was a hard-headed dog and he was a hard-headed trainer and handler. He was set in his ways and I was set in my ways," Jones said. "We had lots of fun training. We had lots of fun doing demos at schools and special events, like the Dachshund Dash."

Jones shared a thought Duco would have for his K-9 partners serving the EPD, Anakin and Ren.

"The most important aspect of being an Enid Police Department K-9 officer was making sure the rest of my police family went home safe at night," Jones said. "To Anakin and Ren I pass onto you the most important job of a police K-9 officer. Carry the longstanding traditions of the Enid Police Department K-9 unit. Keep watch as the guardians of the night."

Jones then read the poem, "Guardians of the Night."

"Obviously, I am going to miss my partner," Fuxa said following the service. "He was a great work partner. He was a loyal companion. He enjoyed nothing more than going to work and protecting the citizens of our community."

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Rains is police and court reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. He can be reached at crains@enidnews.com.

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