This file part of website

   Chapter on Watertown Police Department


Police Department K-9 Unit


2000      K-9 Unit Formed

06 13 2000

Bakko, Watertown's new police canine, lives at home with Officer Tim Engel.

The two make up the department's K-9 unit.


An aggressive but tempered dog that responds to commands spoken only in German


The dog was named Bakko, an alert German shepherd dog, is 3 years old.  Five months previous he left Germany for the first time when he was flown into Wisconsin.  In Germany Bakko was deemed a "Schutzhund 1," a prestigious championship title judges award to dogs that prove they can perform various areas of police patrol work, such as apprehension of criminals and building searches.


In 2000 he became a K-9 police canine.  Watertown Police Officer Tim Engel helped get the canine unit in Watertown on its feet.


The Watertown Police Department primarily established a K-9 police to counter an increase in drugs in Watertown.  He also is trained to search for missing persons such as children and Alzheimer's patients.



Several contributed donations to the police department's new K-9 unit.

left to right, are Jim Oestreich, former president of Watertown Kennel Club; Police Chief Charles McGee;

police K-9 handler Tim Engel; Bakko, police canine; Tom Reiss, CEO of Reiss Industries;

Dr. Roger Gooch of Animal Health Center; and Dr. Larry Sirinek of Animal Health Center.


The police department funded the K-9 unit without taxpayer money.  Start-up cost for the program was covered by several donations, including $16,000 from the Kennel Club of Watertown, which donated the money after it closed.


Before Watertown he was in Campbellsport for several months, training at Steinig-Tal Kennels.  There he was instructed in obedience, aggression, building searches, officer protection and narcotics.


Obedient and tempered dogs can be trained to locate drug odor and scratch at the source.  Bakko helped with two drug arrests during traffic stops on his first day with the force.


To keep his skill in drug locating refined, Engel sometimes takes Bakko to the city's impound lot, the site of junked or abandoned vehicles.  In one of the cars the handler hides a towel that has a scent of marijuana, cocaine or heroin.



March      Retirement of Bakko, Department’s first police canine.



05 05       City Police Department’s First Canine Passed Away

Bakko, the Watertown Police Department’s first police canine, died in his sleep.  He was just over 12 years old.  Bakko was born in Germany and served the Watertown community faithfully for five years prior to his retirement in April of 2005.  Bakko began his service with the Watertown Police Department in March of 2000.  Trained as a “dual-purpose” dog, Bakko was an accomplished drug dog and tracker with specialized training in building searches and officer protection.


03 07       Police looking to restart K-9 program



Back row [l-r]: Chief Timothy Roets, Capt. Curt Kleppin, auxiliary officer Greg Bruske, Capt. Robert Kaminski and Capt. Mark Meddaugh.


Front row: Community officer Sharon Meyer, Dee Bergdoll of the CPAA, officer and K-9 handler Anthony Namio,

Karen Oestreich of the CPAA, and George “Soapy” Oestreich of the CPAA.


The Watertown Police Department is once again looking to implement its K-9 program.


Officer Anthony Namio has been chosen as the department’s new K-9 handler and will be receiving training in the near future. The department is currently looking at a number of kennels throughout the Midwest in hopes of finding the very best dog to serve the community.  When a dog is selected and trained, Namio will welcome the opportunity to give demonstrations and presentations. 


The Watertown Citizens Police Academy Alumni recently held a fundraising event at Turner Hall that netted $4,085 for the department’s K-9 program.  Over five years ago the police department retired Bakko, Watertown’s one and only K-9 officer.  Bakko passed away in May of 2009. Bakko was born in Germany and served the Watertown community for five years prior to his retirement in April of 2005.  The original Watertown K-9 program was started from seed money provided by the disbanded Watertown Kennel Club in late 1999.


According to a press release, the Watertown Police Department made 160 arrests for the possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia in 2008 and 243 arrests in 2009.