Updated: November 10, 2019 02:56 PM
Created: November 10, 2019 02:42 PM
(KSTP) -- Dozens of law enforcement and EMS personnel gathered Saturday morning to say goodbye to a retired New Hope police K-9.
Gideon, a 13-year-old German shepherd, was laid to rest after a decade-long career with the New Hope Police Department.
Gideon's handler, Andy Lamers, accompanied the K-9 to the New Hope Animal Hospital. The dog, who was retired in 2017, lived out its final years with Lamers and his family.
"It's a painful decision for the officer to have to make," New Hope Police Chief Tim Fournier said. "These dogs go through a lot of training and a lot of rigorous training, and it does wear them out."
Fournier coordinated personnel from surrounding departments to greet the officer and K-9 at the hospital Saturday morning.
"It was very heartwarming to see the turnout honestly," he said. "I was moved to see the other agencies there."
Gideon and Lamers were highly decorated, according to Fournier. The duo won state competition during K-9 trials for search and seizure drills. Gideon was also a regular fixture at community events in New Hope.
"He was one animal that I could have at any type of public venue and he would just wow the crowd with his ability," Fournier said. "Kids loved him."
Two New Hope K-9 officers draped an American flag over Gideon as the crowd saluted.
"My hats off to that canine family, because that's a special bond," Fournier said. "That's a loyalty and brother and sisterhood that not a lot of officers get to experience."
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