Bloomington Police Department Det. Matt Heinzmann and K-9 “Breaker” received the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Hall of Fame Professional Award last month.
The award was presented Feb. 17 in Rochester during the association’s annual meeting. The association recognizes companion, professional and hero animals during its annual meeting. Heinzmann and “Breaker” were nominated by Dr. Vicki Schulz of South Hyland Pet Hospital in Bloomington, where many of the police department’s K-9s receive care, according to Bloomington Police Cmdr. Kim Clauson.
“Breaker,” an 8-year-old springer spaniel, has been a narcotics K-9 since November 2010. “Breaker” has detected and assisted in seizing more than 1,000 pounds of narcotics during his career. He is trained to alert to the odor of various narcotics, including marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy, opium and heroin.
He is also trained to indicate currency that has the odor of narcotics, and has detected and assisted in seizing more than $1 million dollars in his career.
He is relied upon by narcotics investigators at the Bloomington Police Department and throughout the Twin Cities for narcotics detection abilities, and his work is often a key factor in an investigator being able to obtain a search warrant for an apartment, storage locker or vehicle.
Within the past year, “Breaker” was twice awarded the United States Police Canine Association’s case of the quarter the Minnesota region, an unusual occurrence.
In one case, “Breaker” identified a vehicle in a St. Paul parking lot that turned out to have more than 40 pounds of methamphetamine concealed within it. In the second case, “Breaker” indicated there were drugs in a suspicious vehicle parked at the Bloomington Target store. The investigation resulted in the location of 20 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in the engine block.
“Breaker” is used for group demonstrations and has a brother named “Batman,” a 1-and-half-year-old black cat that play together at home.