Arson K-9 Charlie retiring on Halloween

Posted at 7:08 PM, Oct 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-28 19:19:12-04

K-9 Charlie is retiring after nearly 9 years on the job. Charlie has worked over 500 fire scenes throughout Maryland, most recently investigating a fire in Cecil County that claimed two lives.

Charlie and his handler, Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal John Nelson, worked cases that led to a number of felony arrests.

“Charlie always worked well and was a valuable tool that has been a great partner, co-worker in the office and a part of my family.  Usually when the phone rang in the middle of the night Charlie was sitting at the door ready to go,” Nelson said.

Prior to his work with the state, Charlie worked for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. The black Labrador retriever was born in 2006, and joined The Office of the State Fire Marshal and ATF about 2 years later.

Charlie’s last day is October 31st.  He’ll now enjoy time with Senior Deputy Nelson and his family at their home.

“Charlie is a very special dog and his hard work will now be rewarded with a great retirement package, not having to work for his food,” Nelson added.

Senior Deputy Nelson will receive a new K-9 partner. Nelson and Senior Deputy Melissa Bean will begin a 6-week training program on the same day Charlie retires. The teams will graduate in December. At that time, the state will have 4 accelerant detection K-9 teams, more than any other agency in the country.