‘He’s very outgoing’: Bucksport Police Department welcomes new K9 officer, Axel
BUCKSPORT, Maine (WABI) - The Bucksport Police Department is one of the latest police forces in Maine to welcome a K9 officer.
“He’s very high strung, very active, and very outgoing,” said Bucksport Patrol Officer, Matthew Schmidt.
Axel will join veteran officer and handler Matthew Schmidt as one of Maine’s newest K-9 teams.
“He’s a Belgian Malinois. They are very similar to the German Shepherd, but they are a little bit smaller. Again, they’re a little bit higher strung,” said Schmidt.
“With the times and issues, we’re dealing with, the town of Bucksport thought it would be an asset to the town and the department,” said Bucksport Public Safety Director, Sean Geagan.
How Axel got his name is quite the story. The name ‘Axel’ is of Hebrew origin. Geagan says the meaning of Axel is “father of peace.”
“We’re the peacemakers, so we thought he’d be ‘the father of peace’ of the peacemakers,” explained Geagan.
“The origin with ‘peace’ in it as part of the background of his name is perfect,” said Bucksport Town Manager, Susan Lessard. “That is entirely consistent with the way that our public safety department approaches their work, which is public safety, and maintaining the peace in the best way we can.”
The Stanton Foundation provided the Bucksport Police Department with $27,000 in grant funds to support the new K9 team.
As a full-time officer, Axel will be an asset in helping the department with tracking missing persons and suspects, locating narcotics, and dealing with barricaded subjects.
“I remember a few years ago we had one here on Halloween. Instead of calling in the state police canine, we could have called in our own,” said Schmidt. “A dog’s nose is one hundred times better than ours. They can sense things we can’t. So, I think any dog in any department would be a positive note.”
Town officials are happy to welcome Axel into the community following his training at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in March.
Be sure to be on the lookout for Officer Schmidt and Axel! They’ll be involved in community programs once both have completed training.
“We’ve introduced him the best we can at this point. We’ll introduce him once he gets the training of discipline and things of that nature. Then people will be able to see him for sure,” said Geagan.
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