Saiber the police dog helped nab a suspected burglar the other night but on Tuesday night he was all about the belly rubs.
He got his fill of petting and fussing from children attending the annual National Night Out, which is co-sponsored by the Minot Police Department and Target, at the North Hill Soccer Complex.
Minot Police Department Sgt. David Chapman, of the K-9 Unit and Saiber's handler, said that so far Saiber is the only canine cop on the force but he might be joined by another dog in the near future.
Andrea Johnson/MDN • Vania Faul, rear, her cousin Hannah Johnson, left, and her nephew Kaydon Faul pet police dog Saiber while Sgt. David Chapman of the Minot Police Department K-9 unit looks on during the annual National Night Out at the North Hill Soccer Complex on Tuesday evening.
Sgt. Margie Zietz, the police department's crime prevention officer, said this is the third year that the police department has sponsored the National Night Out with Target but the police department has been holding law enforcement days for more than 20 years.
The community event is held in order to promote public safety and give recognition to law enforcement officers and fire fighters who help keep the community safe.
On hand to greet the public were the Minot Police Department Bomb Squad, SWAT Team, Bike Patrol, K-9 Unit, CNT Unit and the Animal Control Officer, as well as the Ward County Sheriff's Department, the Surrey Police Department, the North Dakota Highway Patrol, the Minot Air Force Base Security Forces Squadron, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the Minot Rural Fire Department, and Minot Community Ambulance Service.
Other community groups also had a presence, including Target, Trinity Health, Minot State University Rural Crime and Justice Center, SRT, American Bank Center, Minot Area Credit Unions, Project Renew, North Dakota Prevention Center/Department of Human Services, Minot Mousers and Project Safe Neighborhoods.
Families enjoyed carnival games and free food and had a chance to meet and talk to law enforcement officers and to their neighbors.
Zietz said National Night Out is important because it gives people from the community a chance to meet law enforcement and get to know them and to get tips that will help them stay safer.
There are a lot of new people in the community, said Zietz, and one way that people can feel safer is to get to know their new neighbors and also to make sure their children are comfortable with their neighborhood police officers so they can call on them if they need to.
The National Night Out Event was so popular last summer that it won a regional award among 500 Target stores in the region, said Tim Stiel, a Target team member. Zietz said the Minot store received a stipend that helped make this year's event bigger and better.
Zietz said she expected the event to draw between 1,200 and 1,500 people, which she thought was a nice number.