As Police K-9 Unit Grows, Original Drug Dog Retires - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

As Police K-9 Unit Grows, Original Drug Dog Retires

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Keeping up with increased drug traffic out west is a full-time job, and one officer in Dickinson has devoted his career to making drug busts.

In fact, his name is quite fitting for what he has done in the area.

"It's amazing what these dogs can do, absolutely amazing, when you're out there working with them, they wow you almost everyday."

Buster the chocolate lab is one of the first K-9 officers to help on drug busts with the Dickinson Police Department.

"We use these dogs quite a bit because it's a busy industry in this area unfortunately." says Officer Corey Lee, Senior Patrol Officer, K-9 Unit.

After serving his community for six and a half years, this K-9 cop is set to hang up his badge and enjoy his retirement, but not without accolades for his many years of service.

"In almost seven years we've been on the street, we got quite the reputation in town, people know, we've had it happen many times where we'll pull up, and they'll just give up, we have drugs right away because they see him, they know what he can do." says Lee.

His partner, Officer Corey Lee says Buster has assisted with more than seven hundred narcotics searches in his career, and helped make 150 arrests.

He has also won multiple awards.

The nine-year-old K-9 cop is retiring in part because of a bad hip.

Something that's been hard on both partners.

"It's very hard for him and me, when I go to work everyday, he can't come with anymore, sits at the fence and stares, it's heart-wrenching, but we get through it..." says Lee.

He has left some big paws to fill--cue Gambit.

"K-9 Gambit just moved into the house with us here a couple weeks ago."

Gambit will serve as a drug detection and the first apprehension dog in the unit.

"He's an apprehension as well as narcotics, he'll be able to help officers do their job more safely." says Lee.

As he gets introduced to the rest of the department, the K-9 family grows larger.

With much appreciation to those who served before.

"Buster and I were the only K-9 unit for several years and we started two K-9 department after that...They rely a lot on you, and you rely a lot on them, so works out nice." says Lee.

There will be two new K-9s patrolling the streets of Dickinson.

Gambit just started and another will be starting in July.

As for Buster, he will continue working part-time, doing what he most loves to do.

Interacting with children--while doing drug education programs in schools.

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