WAITE PARK -- There's a new top dog in Waite Park these days and his name is Parker.

The two year old German Shepherd is the newest addition to the Waite Park police department after the retirement of Kato in January.

"He's fitting in well. He seems to enjoy socializing with the officers," says Officer JoAnna Bigler.

Parker has been with the department for several months after completing his training in  narcotics and tracking.

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

Bigler is Parker's handler and says she enjoys the partnership.

"It's something that I enjoy and have been interested in. I love working with animals so it's kind of like marrying the two professions," says Bigler.

Bigler is no stranger to the K-9 unit after working with Dino at the end of his career. However there has been some growing pains.

"Parker is still going through that transition from puppy stage to dog, so he still likes to play, still likes to have fun, still likes to get out and meet new people," says Bigler.

Along with their patrol duties, Parker and Officer Bigler still make time for regular training.

"You try to get in at least 18 hours so we try and do that monthly. We try to hook up with a training group if we can otherwise we do a lot of training at home," says Bigler.

Although Parker now has added responsibility he still finds time to enjoy life as a dog.


(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)