The Fruita Police Department is retiring one of their officers this month, after eight years of service he'll be leaving the force on all fours.
For Fruita Police Sergeant Mitch Caldwell its bitter sweet as his partner of eight years retires. Caldwell says, "He does criminal apprehension, building searches, he tracks." At the ripe old age of about 10 Anno the police dog is hanging up his leash. Fellow Officer Lisa Dicamillo says, "We're going to miss him."
Anno, a German Shepherd, joined the force in 2001. Caldwell says of his training, "He's certified in narcotics detection he's certified on marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine."
In his career, Anno has played a key role in many drug busts including 50 pounds of marijuana found on I–70, as well as indicating on a huge 700 pound load of the same drug, and he hasn't slowed down with time. Caldwell says, "Last spring we had two pounds of meth that we found in Fruita."
While Anno is helping win the war on drugs he's also out there catching bad guys, one of his favorite things to do. And in this case his bite is worse than his bark. But few care to find that out first hand. "He's had one bite and everyone else has given up to him," says Caldwell.
Dicamillo says Anno is more than just a police dog he's a friend. "They're part of the family and not only of your family but the people that you work with," says Dicamillo. The police department says they won't be replacing Anno, however Anno's daughter is already following in her fathers footsteps.
While Anno won't be out patrolling the streets his work is far from done. Caldwell says, "Even though he's retired he's still going to be coming to work." He'll be putting on presentations for school kids and doing some public relations work as well.
While Anno is only about 10-years-old in dog years, that's about 45 in human years.