Elk River retires K9, promotes handler

By Kurt Nesbitt
Contributing Writer

The Elk River Police Department’s K9 Zeus formally retired Tuesday night.

Submitted photo
K9 Zeus assisted many departments during his eight-year career with the Elk River Police Departments. Some of them greeted him and his handler Officer Adam Bebeau as they arrived for their last work assignment. Bebeau was promoted and K9 Zeus officially retired and was sold to Bebeau for $1.

The Elk River City Council promoted Zeus’ handler, Officer Adam Bebeau, to patrol sergeant shortly before.

Bebeau was selected based on his experience and will succeed Patrol Sgt. Dave Dummer, who retired April 30.

City documents said Zeus retired because his age isn’t favorable to the city transferring him to a new handler. Instead, the city sold him to Bebeau for $1. Zeus joined the police department in 2009.

Bebeau was hired by the Elk River Police Department in 2005. Prior to that he worked for the Wilmar and Champlin Police departments.

He is a veteran of the Minnesota National Guard. He has been active in the department as a field training officer, firearms instructor, bike team member, weapons armorer and most notably a K9 handler.

He as been awarded the Chief’s Award to the an officer or staff member who demonstrates leadership in their role, three lifesaving awards, 12 unit citations and a Blue Max Award given to the top officer of the year as well as numerous ribbons.

Submitted photo
Elk River Police Officer and K9 hander Adam Bebeau was promoted to patrol sergeant at the Sept. 5 Elk River City Council meeting. His wife Kristen pinned his badge on while daughter April looked on. Their son Dillon is a student at Minnesota State Mankato and was unable to attend.

K9 Zeus hales from the Czech Republic and started his service with the Elk River Police Department in 2009 when he was paired with Officer Bebeau.

During his career he assisted many departments, including Sherburne County, Wright County, Anoka County, Ramsey, Rogers, Isanti County, Benton County and Princeton.

He also competed in many competitions and won 10 first place trophies, five second place trophies and five third place trophies.

In 2011, the K9 team of Bebeau and Zeus took 4th place at national trials as part of the regional team.

In 2012, Zeus took first place as the “Top Dog.”

In 2017, Zeus took “Top Dog” in narcotics trials.

Submitted photo
K9 Zeus, always at the ready for work, was right by his handler as he signed paperwork, signaling an end to the dog’s police career and the beginning of his retirement with Bebeau.

After handing over $1 to the mayor and signing a purchase agreement for Zeus, Bebeau will retain the animal for the remainder of his life, Elk River Police Chief Ron Nierenhausen said.

Zeus got up to the podium where council presentations are made and appeared ready to sign the purchase agreement as his handler wrote his signature. Zeus was instructed he could not sign, and laughter broke out in the council chambers.

Elk River promotes firefighter
Lieutenant Zachary Hoffmann of the Elk River Fire Department took the oath of office for his new position Tuesday night. Hoffmann was an on-call firefighter before he was promoted to his new rank on May 15. He was sworn in by Elk River Mayor John Dietz during a City Council meeting.