The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office is mourning the death of retired K-9 Ajax.

The German Shepherd died Tuesday. He has been battling cancer, which had progressed to an advanced stage.

The Sheriff’s Office says when word began circulating Tuesday morning that Ajax was headed to the veterinarian, officers started filling the office parking lot.

A news release says, “there were patrol and traffic officers, detectives and administrators, a sheriff's cadet and a deputy on the mend following surgery.”

The officers had come to say goodbye to Ajax and to support his handler, Deputy Joe Hedstrom.

At 12:45 p.m. Kitsap 911 broadcast this radio message:

All agencies prepare to copy.
Cencom to all agencies.
We are honoring Kitsap County K-9 Ajax today, who served our county for 4.5 years.
Thank you Ajax for your service. We will miss you.
End of Watch, Nov. 7, 2016. Cencom Clear. Time 1245.

Ajax was born November 10, 2005 in the Slovak Republic. He came to the U.S. in September 2007 and was selected as a K-9 recruit. Ajax and Deputy Hedstrom graduated in 2008. Ajax is credited with 112 suspect captures.

Ajax was placed on inactive reserve in the summer of 2012 because of neck vertebrae injuries sustained while on duty. He permanently retired in September 2012.

While in retirement, K-9 Ajax lived with Deputy Hedstrom and his family.