In September of 2016, the Big Lake Police Department committed to moving forward with a Canine Program. At this time a fundraising effort was undertaken, with a goal of reaching $51,250 for the acquisition of a police canine, training, vehicle, and equipment. We had an unbelievable response to this effort, generating more than our target budget in less than 3 months.
- View all donations made to the Police Department Canine Program Webpage.
The focus of the Big Lake Police Department Canine Program is two-fold;
Our region, and state for that matter, are seeing a dramatic increase in the use and possession of narcotics such as methamphetamine and heroin. Having these activities occurring in our community can quickly erode neighborhoods, and quality of life for our residents. A police canine is highly effective at locating narcotics where officers cannot. Research has also shown their mere presence to have a deterrent effect.
A police canine is the ultimate ambassador to a police department, they are the star of the show at any gathering which they attend, and form an outstanding bridge to the department with our community.
Deputy Chief Matt Hayen
Deputy Chief Matthew Hayen was selected as our original canine handler. Canine Bruno is a German Shepard - Belgian Malinois Cross who arrived from the Slovakia Republic (Europe) in November of 2016. Bruno was named by the Hayen Family, the name Bruno is a Germanic Word meaning "shield or armor." Deputy Chief Hayen and Bruno attended Narcotic Detection Training with Performance Kennels for 4 weeks graduating in February in 2017. Following their narcotics training, our canine team competed in Narcotic Detection Trials in West Fargo ND, completing their certification and taking 2nd place in vehicle searches from among 40 other teams. Deputy Chief Hayen and Bruno had many accomplishments, including several narcotic seizures. In November of 2018, Deputy Chief Hayen was promoted to his current rank. Due to the increasing demands on Deputy Chief Hayen in new leadership role, it was decided to transition our program to another canine handler.
Officer Guy Chaffee
In May of 2019, Officer Guy Chaffee was selected to fill the role of our new canine handler. In June of 2019 Bruno was transitioned to Officer Chaffee, he now resides with his new family, the transition has been seamless. Officer Chaffee and Bruno begin Detector Dog Training in June, and are expected to graduate prior to July 1. We look forward to having our new canine team on the street in early July!