BOZEMAN — The community gathered at the Public Safety Center in Bozeman for a ceremony where 20 people were presented with awards for their acts of bravery in the line of duty. Some of them were citizens who saved lives before police could arrive on the scene.
Two officers were promoted to sergeants and two new officers were sworn in.
“Bittersweet” is how Chief Jim Veltkamp says it feels to welcome new officers as others retire.
Three retired officers were honored. One of them, four-legged.
Officer Derek Dyk and his K9 partner Ivan are retiring after working together for three years.
“He’s definitely paid his way with all the stuff he’s taken off the streets,” says Dyk.
Dyk worked for the Bozeman Police Department for eight years. He says leaving isn’t easy but new chapters are always exciting.
“The quality of people you work with at this job is amazing it’s like no other job,” says Dyk.
He says reflecting on his time with his dog Ivan is special to him.
“I’m in the car with him for 10-hour shifts, he comes home with me, lives at home with me, and you spend more time with him than you do your own family,” says Dyk. “The bond you create is pretty intense.”
Dyk says he feels grateful that even though he has to say goodbye to his role with the Bozeman Police Department, he doesn’t have to say goodbye to Ivan.
“That’s one of the scariest things as a K9 handler is not being able to take home your dog and it’s a huge relief that he gets to come home with me,” says Dyk.