After nine plus years of service to the Baxter Police Department K9 Gator has retired. Our 10 year old Belgian Malinois has worked his last shift for the city and will now get to enjoy a well-deserved stretch of time off.In addition to the retirement of Gator, the department is also transitioning to a new K9 Officer. Sergeant Matt Maier will no longer be taking on the duties of a K9 Officer for our department. After 12 years of dedicated service to this unit he has decided to pass along these duties to another officer. We are certain this was not an easy decision for Sergeant Maier but we are extremely grateful for the dedication he has shown to this program.
Together Gator and Sergeant Maier responded to nearly 1,000 calls for service while partnered in Baxter. The team worked to take 163 people into custody for a wide range of crimes. They conducted 141 tracks of which they were successful 63 times. Together they seized 30 firearms, 16 vehicles, 17 pounds of marijuana, 1.2 pounds of meth, 1 pound of hashish, heroin, crack cocaine and approximately $98,000 in cash.
Their work stretched across Baxter and all of Crow Wing County and into all of our neighboring counties. When agencies called the team was quick to respond no matter the time of day. Their professionalism has gained the respect of these agencies as a great resource and they will be missed.
They have also been recognized by the Regional United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) for their hard work and outstanding training. In their first trial competition back in 2008 the team received the Rookie Dog/Experienced Handler Award and they never looked back. Each year the team would return with top medals for various disciplines in which they competed. Our department entryway display shows off the more than 25 trophies and 50 medals they’ve accumulated throughout this wonderful career.
Sergeant Maier continues his commitment to our program as we move forward. He will be assisting and guiding our new K9 Rossi in his initial deployment and then work with our new K9 officer through the training phase.
The department is extremely fortunate to have had such a dedicated officer as our K9 team leader. Congratulations to this outstanding team of Sergeant Matt Maier and K9 Gator. On behalf of your fellow officers, elected officials and the community of Baxter – Thank You!