May 072014

Max was thrilled with his retirement gift from the Police Department.

Max was thrilled with his retirement gift from the Police Department.

On Wednesday, April 30, the Orange Police Department said goodbye to one of it’s most beloved officers: K-9 Maximus “Max” retired from service.

His handler Officer Michael Kosh became the town’s School Resource Officer in January, and Max has visited all of the schools since then.  Max has served the Town since 2006, and soon will turn 9.  Most of the dogs from his training class have been previously retired .
A valuable member of the department, Max successfully conducted searches for persons and evidence and made numerous apprehensions during his career.
Police Chief Robert Gagne said  “Officer Kosh and Max’s service and sacrifice are in keeping with the highest values of the police service and they have our sincerest gratitude.”
A small retirement party took place at police headquarters, attended by officers, dispatchers, staff, the Kosh family and two of Max’s favorite people — former Asst. Chief Edward Koether and his daughter, Brittany, who is completing her education to become a veterinarian. When Max entered the room, he went directly to his old friend Brittany.
Sgt. Heather LaRock provided Max with delicious looking dog cookies in the shapes of police cars and donuts (who says they don’t have a sense of humor?)
The retirement party was brief, with Chief Robert Gagne choosing to read a letter that will go in Officer Kosh’s file, rather than speak off-the-cuff.
He choked up a little as he read.
Dear Officer Kosh:
I want to personally thank you, and congratulate you and your K-9 partner Maximus, for your dedicated service to the Orange Police Department and the town of Orange over the past eight years. It seems like yesterday that you and Max were introduced and began your successful partnership together.
Bringing the police K-9 program back to Orange was a huge benefit to our community and your first patrol together on Christmas night 2006 was a proud moment for you and our entire department.
Together you and Max worked as a team, successfully conducting searches for persons and evidence, as well as apprehending criminal offenders on numerous occasions. You committed yourselves to a difficult schedule, continuing to work night-time hours even thought your seniority would have afforded you the opportunity to select day shift hours.
Your service and sacrifice are in keeping with the highest values of the police service, and you have our sincerest gratitude. You have gone above and beyond everything that has been asked of you.
I wish you both the best as you have embarked on your new assignment as the School Resource Officer and Max deservedly retires to his proud position of beloved family pet. May your years together be long and happy and healthy.
Thank You both again for a job extremely well done.
Olivia gives Chief Gagne $1 during a memorable moment at Max's retirement party.

Olivia gives Chief Gagne $1 during a memorable moment at Max’s retirement party.

When he was done, Gagne asked Kosh’s daughter, Olivia, who was celebrating her 11th birthday that day,  to come to the front of the room for the ceremonious transfer of ownership.

With her dad and Max by her side, Olivia handed Chief Gagne $1, and in turn, he presented her with a receipt. Max became a family pet and was no longer the property of the town of Orange.
Officer Kosh said Max is retiring on top of his game. He’s healthy and doesn’t suffer any of the mobility issues that German Shepherds often have, although his front paws can be sensitive some times after years of jumping from the car.
Police Commission Chairman Donald Lewis said, “I’ve never been to a dog’s retirement party before, but I got these treats for him,” handing Kosh a big bag of natural doggie snacks.
Max couldn’t seem to wait to sink his teeth into the giant rawhide bone that he spotted 3o minutes earlier, and he happily gnawed on it as he lay on the floor with Brittany and Olivia.
“The end of an era,” someone whispered as Max went home with his family. He will be missed.

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