LYNN HAVEN - K-9 deputies are receiving special recognition by local law enforcement agencies Sunday at their K-9 veteran memorial ceremony. K-9s help officials solve drug, bomb, and fugitive cases.
Bay County Sheriff's deputies consider K-9s their right-hand-men. Some say they can't imagine working without them.
Deputy Jeff Duggins is continuing to train his German Shepard, Durka. He's worked with the 110 pound dog for the past 3 years.
"He has my back all the time. He doesn't think about it without question, not that any deputy would, but with him. You just can't imagine the bond that we have," said Deputy Jeff Duggins of the Bay Co. Sheriff's Office.
Deputy Duggins has more than 30 years of experience working with K-9s. Durka is trained to find bombs and sniff-out-scents of people for Deputy Duggins and the Sheriff's Office.
Their sense of smell is two million times stronger than the average deputy.
"That means when they smell something like stew, we smell stew. I mean that's all it is. The dog is capable of detecting all the way down to the seasoning of that stew," said Deputy Duggins.
He says the bond between himself and Durka is like no other.
"Before I started working dogs, I can tell you I didn't know what it was like. Now that I've been handling dogs, i couldn't think of doing anything else," said Deputy Duggins.
He's already in the middle of training another K-9 deputy, Reagan, who is a Golden Retriever Lab mix. Deputy Duggins says the average time a dog works with law enforcement is about 6 or 7 years.
The Sheriff's Office has more than a dozen K-9 deputies on hand.
Sunday's event will be at Veterans Park in Parker at 1 p.m. This is the sixth year local law enforcement agencies will be honoring the K-9s.