Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com)--- After eight years of patrolling the streets, Superior's former K-9 Blek is easing into retirement after hanging up his leash in March.
"He keeps on wanting to go for a ride in the squad car, well it's not there anymore because the new team has the squad car," says Officer Todd Maas with the Superior Police Department.
Blek and his handler Officer Todd Maas have had quite the career together. In 2009, Blek won the Criminal Apprehension of the Year after apprehending an attempted homicide suspect, and saving his handler's life.
"He protected me, that was definitely a deadly force situation and if I didn't have the dog , I probably more than likely would have had to use deadly force," said Officer Maas.
But the days of being a police dog are over
"He's starting to settle in to being a nice pet now," said Officer Maas.
And Officer Maas has stepped down as K9 Handler...and handed over the reigns to a new dog and handler..
Meet Marik, a 17-month-old black short-haired German Shepard, and his handler Nicholas Eastman, who just wrapped up twelve weeks of K9 training.
"When I first got him, he was basically just a puppy and then every week of training, I saw him progress into a police dog," said Officer Nicholas Eastman.
Eastman and Marik are already best friends...and the duo hit the streets together for the first time over the weekend.
"I think it was a learning experience for him. He was a little shy in the backseat and then was, it progressed he learned that he could bark which was interesting, but he's gonna be a great K9 I think for the City of Superior, " said Officer Eastman.
Marik will be trained in narcotics and human apprehension...and Officer Eastman says it will be a rewarding experience to work alongside him.
"If we accomplish a couple cases, you know, it's worth having the dog around, and that's what I'm looking to accomplish- is success," said Officer Eastman.
To help cover the expenses of area K-9 programs, the Amsoil Northland K-9 Foundation was launched last year. Deputy Chief Nicholas Alexander says canines are an invaluable asset to the force.
"They can save lives, they can help prevent injuries, and they do very dangerous work, however they are very expensive- a new K9 dog can cost anywhere from seven to twelve thousand dollars and then training on top of that," said Deputy Chief Nicholas Alexander.
The Foundation covers the costs of ten active K-9's for the Superior Police Department, Duluth Police Department, Douglas County and St Louis County Sheriff's Office.
The Amsoil Northland K9 Foundation is holding a kick-off fundraiser called "Operation K-9" on June 5 from 4:30-8 p.m. at the Amsoil Center at the foot of the Bong Bridge in Superior.
The event will feature Northland K-9's, live demonstrations, and family friendly activities.
If you wish to donate to the Northland K9 foundation, you can do so Amsoil Northland Law Enforcement K9 Foundation
Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati