IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A K-9 officer with the Mooresville Police Department has passed away just months after he retired, the department announced Thursday.
“Recently-retired K9 Baks passed away unexpectedly last night," Mooresville PD said on their Facebook page, "Please keep Baks’ home and former work family in your thoughts and prayers.”
Baks and his handler, Officer Josh Barlow, have been with MPD since 2016. However, they had been partners before that - both came together from the Landis Police Department where they had served since 2013.
The beloved K-9 officer had numerous roles with the department. He trained in narcotics detection, apprehension, tracking, officer protection, and area and article searches." On top of catching criminals, Baks also worked as a bridge between his partner and the community.
“People are attracted to K-9s and ask about them, which makes building a relationship easier,” Officer Barlow said in a Facebook post marking Baks’ July 24 retirement. “Whether it was a hardcore criminal or a good person who had a bad day, everyone who got in my vehicle would eventually start asking about Baks and it opened up a way to have a civil, productive conversation."