The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office lost a retired K-9 deputy this week. K-9 Duke, a 13 and a half-year-old Black Labrador Retriever, died Monday. Duke retired almost two years ago after 5 years of loyal service under the guidance of his handler, Sergeant Jacqueline Underwood.
K-9 Duke was trained by the United States Marine Corps as Explosive Ordnance Detection (EOD) canine. Duke served one tour in Afghanistan and was retired by the Marines. On May 16, 2013, Duke officially became a Fulton County Sheriff’s Deputy and was partnered with Sgt. Underwood until 2018.
Sgt. Underwood and K-9 Duke would search for explosives and investigate suspicious packages. Duke could also locate fire arms and ammunition. In his time with the Sheriff’s Office, K-9 Duke assisted with dignitary protection details, security sweeps of major event venues, and was often called upon to assistance to other law enforcement agencies.
K-9 Duke was an excellent partner for Sergeant Underwood. Duke was always excited to take on the next challenge. The pair earned certifications from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA), maintained K-9 certification, and the team received numerous accolades over the years to include the prestigious Fulton County F.O.C.U.S. Award in the category of Safety and Security.
The Sergeant often took him to schools to teach students about Duke’s training. The students were fascinated to learn how special canines like Duke work with law enforcement to keep the County safe.
Around the Sheriff’s Office and in the Fulton County Courthouse, staff ⸻ especially judges and other officials grew accustomed to greeting Sgt. Underwood and her partner Duke. While Duke knew when he it was time to be focused on the job, he absolutely loved meeting people.
Duke enjoyed retirement with Sergeant Underwood and her family. Although he really missed coming to work with the Sergeant every day, he took well to her new younger partner, K-9 Zack and showed him the ropes.
K-9 Duke was always charismatic and will be remembered for his intelligence, energy, and good temperament. Perhaps, what may stand out is how he loved to have his paw held. The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office is grateful for Duke’s service. He was an all-around good dog.