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Police K9 Gunner Retires from Dayton International Airport after Serving for Six Years

A familiar and furry face at the Dayton International Airport retired last month after working with the airport for several years. Gunner, a TSA Explosive Detection Canine, worked at DAY for six and a half years with his handler, Sergeant Ted Priest, and retired in early April due to a medical condition. Gunner was celebrated with a retirement party thrown by his coworkers at DAY whom he loved to serve with.

A normal day at the airport for Gunner, the Yellow English Labrador Retriever, was keeping the airport and all its travelers and staff safe by sweeping the terminals, baggage, cargo, and more to sniff out any hazards. When Gunner wasn’t working at the airport, he could also be found protecting other parts of Dayton including schools and businesses. Gunner loved the spotlight and enjoyed doing demonstrations while at work and helping with flight attendant classes. He was also always happy to pose for the camera if someone wanted to snap a picture.

Gunner even worked at large annual events including the Country Concert in Fort Loramie and the Dayton Air Show here at DAY. Gunner’s job was to sweep the area and make sure the grounds were safe. Gunner was such a hard worker that he was recruited in 2015 for perhaps his biggest job yet when he worked the MLB All-Star game at Great American Ball Park, the home of the Cincinnati Reds.

dog in front of jet model

When Gunner was off the clock, he loved to take walks and go on long hikes—just as long as it wasn’t raining or snowing; Gunner enjoyed just about everything about his job except for the rain and snow which is frequent here in Ohio. Now that he is retired, Gunner has more time for hikes and goes on at least two hikes a week with Sergeant Priest.

Gunner was trained as part of the TSA K9 Training Unit, which is the largest explosives detection canine program in the Department of Homeland Security and the second largest in the federal government after the Department of Defense. After training with TSA was complete, Gunner was assigned and flown into Dayton where Sgt. Priest was designated as his handler.

Gil Turner, Director of Aviation at Dayton International Airport, spoke about Gunner’s retirement and his work at the airport. “We look forward to sending Gunner off to a relaxing retirement and thank him for his service,” says Turner. “We’ll miss seeing him hard at work around the airport, but we’re happy he’ll be spending his golden years in retirement with this handler and owner, Sergeant Ted Priest.” 

While Gunner is retired from DAY, Sergeant Priest continues to work as a K9 Supervisor of Operations and Administration. While Gunner misses the other dogs in his K9 unit and the rest of the team, Sergeant Priest is happy he gets to help Gunner enjoy his much-deserved retirement as they are able to travel and go on more hikes together.

The Dayton International Airport would like to thank Gunner for all of his hard work and wishes him a happy retirement!