An important member of Anderson County Schools retired Thursday.

K-9 school resource officer "Al" has worked in every school in the district over the past decade to keep kids safe and happy. A ceremony was held for Al Thursday night with dozens showing up to bid him farewell.

His handler, Anderson County deputy Kim Lay, said she has worked with him for 7 years. She said students will miss the 12-year-old K-9 tremendously -- and he will miss them as well. 

"I'm sure he is going to eventually enjoy being home, but I think that socialization he's going to miss. He will miss being able to see the kids," she said.

Lay said she will be taking care of Al to ensure he'll have a happy life after retirement. Another black lab K-9, Max, will be working with Lay to fill Al's role as Anderson County Schools' K-9 SRO.

"We're excited for him to be able to retire," she said.