Special to Iredell Free News

Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Gary Simpson and his canine partner are embarking on a well-deserved retirement.

ICSO Lt. Gary Simpson and Canine Abby.

The duo has worked together since 2014 in drug trafficking interdiction, collaborating in investigations that led to millions of dollars worth of narcotics’ seizures.

Simpson completed Basic Law Enforcement Training in 1995 and began his crimefighting career with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. In April 2006, Simpson accepted a position with the ICSO, where he was assigned to the Interstate Criminal Enforcement (ICE) Team. Throughout his almost 17-year career with the ICSO, he has remained on the ICE Team and progressed in rank.

In 2014 Abby was assigned to Simpson. She was a spunky, 2-year-old pup, eager to work. She was one of the first Labrador Retrievers to join the ICSO. Trained only for the detection of narcotics, Abby sniffed out over $4 million worth of narcotics.

“It’s not too often that a handler and canine retire together, making this day extra special,” Sheriff Darren Campbell said. “We are saying goodbye to two great deputies. Gary and Abby will be missed.”

After retirement from the ICSO, Simpson will continue his passion traveling to teach those drug interdiction to law enforcement officers.

Abby will get to be a regular dog, joining the other dogs in the Simpson home.