PHOTOS: Ridgewater welders unveil K
WILLMAR — The lobby of the Law Enforcement Center might look slightly different now, following a ceremony to unveil a life-size stainless steel German shepherd sculpture Wednesday afternoon in Willmar.
The statue, which recognizes the value of K-9 officers within the police, emergency and military services, was constructed by students within the Ridgewater College welding program. The statue will remain as a permanent fixture of the Law Enforcement Center lobby.
With plans originating from a Russian designer, the sculpture features 145 individual pieces of cut steel, welded at together at complex angles to bring the unique design to life.
"Today, we dedicate this memorial to our K-9 protectors, helpers and companions," said Willmar Police Chief Jim Felt.
Fourteen law enforcement K-9s have served the Willmar and Kandiyohi County area since the 1970s with the Willmar Police Department, Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office and Minnesota State Patrol. Three remain active in local agencies today.
"The rest live on in our hearts and memories with gratitude for the protection, loyalty and faithful service they've given," Felt said.