Anoka PD hosts open house, memorial service

The Anoka Police Department honored the officers from across the United States who have lost their lives in the line of duty on Law Enforcement Memorial Day.

 K9 Barrett, along with Officer George Walker drew a lot of attention from the kids at the Anoka Police Department open house and memorial service May 15.

K9 Barrett, along with Officer George Walker drew a lot of attention from the kids at the Anoka Police Department open house and memorial service May 15.

The local department held its annual memorial ceremony, along with an open house, May 15.

In 2012, 120 police officers from across the United States were killed, said Police Chief Phil Johanson. This number is down from 166 in 2011.

“These officers across the country gave their lives so we can live in peace,” he said.

Of those 120 officers, 49 were killed by gunfire, 21 in traffic accidents, 11 in vehicular assaults, two by physical assault and five were stabbed to death, according to Johanson.

In the past five years, 776 officers have been killed in the U.S. Ten were from the state of Minnesota.

Officer George Walker and Sgt. Justin Anderson (right) present the colors.

Officer George Walker and Sgt. Justin Anderson (right) present the colors.

The most recent was Cold Spring Police Officer Thomas Decker, who was ambushed on Nov. 28, 2012. Decker was shot twice and died, despite wearing a bullet resistant vest.

The Anoka Police Department has lost one officer in the line of duty. In 1947, Verl Whinery was killed while directing traffic at an accident scene at the intersection of Seventh Avenue and Highway 10 (now East River Road). Whinery had been on the job less than a year.

During the open house Officer George Walker and his K9 partner Barrett also put on a display of Barrett’s skills for the crowd.

Barrett, a German shepherd, is used for both apprehension and narcotics detection. Barrett has been with the Anoka PD for more than two years.

Anoka was the first department in the state to have a police dog, back in 1967, Walker said.

Police Chief Phil Johanson (left) and Councilmember Carl Anderson lay a wreath in memorial.

Police Chief Phil Johanson (left) and Councilmember Carl Anderson lay a wreath in memorial.

The department used to have two K9s on the force, but as more law enforcement agencies in the area have added dogs, the Anoka PD dropped back to one.

Walker said the value of a trained police dog ranges from $10,000 to $15,000.

As a result, Barrett isn’t usually involved in a call that includes someone with a gun, Walker said, because dogs can so easily be killed.

Mandy Moran Froemming is at editor.anokaunion@ecm-inc.com

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