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After nine years in law enforcement, Worthington Police Department K-9 retires

Frank'ee first joined the Nobles County Sheriff's Office in 2013, before transferring to the Worthington Police Department.

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Worthington Police Department K-9 Frank'ee during the last shift before his retirement.
Worthington Police Department

WORTHINGTON — After over five years with the Worthington Police Department, K-9 Frank’ee officially retired on Tuesday and was transferred to pet status under the care of his handler, Sergeant Dustin Roemeling.

Originally purchased from Kentucky, Frank’ee joined the Nobles County Sheriff's Office in 2013 alongside Roemeling — but not before undergoing hundreds of hours of training, from basic obedience to tracking and article searching, to narcotics detection.

“It’s a very, very rigorous initial training period for law enforcement K-9s,” Roemeling said, adding that Frank’ee often excelled in his bi-annual recertification training, doing well enough at trials to qualify for the National K-9 Trials. The Belgian Malinois received numerous awards, including first place in obedience in 2017, and National Case of the Quarter in 2018 for his part in a traffic stop search that resulted in the seizure of nearly 480 pounds of marijuana.

Frank’ee and Roemeling joined the Worthington Police Department in January 2016. Throughout his career there, Frank’ee was deployed over 110 times, helping to locate large quantities of controlled substances including over 800 pounds of marijuana and over 12 pounds of methamphetamine. Now, after turning 10 in mid-April, Frank’ee is welcoming retirement.

“My wife sent me a video of him one hour into my first shift back to work and he was sleeping hard on the couch, just enjoying a good hard nap already,” Roemeling said. “So I think he’s loving retirement.”

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Even though Frank’ee is retired, the WPD won’t be without a K-9, as German Shepard Shep steps up to fill the big shoes — or paw prints — Frank’ee leaves behind, alongside Officer Mark Riley.

“I definitely appreciate the community support,” said Roemeling, noting how glad he is to see the K-9 unit continue on. “I don't think our K-9 unit would be as successful as it has been without it.”

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Emma McNamee joined The Globe team in October 2021 as a reporter covering Crime & Courts, Politics, and the City beats. Born and raised in Duluth, Minn., McNamee left her hometown to attend school in Chicago at Columbia College. She graduated in 2021 with a degree in Multimedia Journalism, with a concentration in News & Feature Writing and a minor in Creative Writing.
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