PHOTOS: Ridgewater welders unveil K-9 statue to honor law enforcement

Members of the Ridgewater Welding program constructed a life-size stainless steel German shepherd sculpture, which will be displayed at the Law Enforcement Center.

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Members of law enforcement, the community and Ridgewater College applaud after the unveiling of a statue of a K-9 in the lobby of the Law Enforcement Center during an unveiling ceremony on Wednesday, April 26, 2023, in Willmar.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

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.

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Willmar Police Department Capt. Mike Anderson, right, presents Ridgewater College welding instructor Cody Sarsland, center, with a plaque and handshake after welders at the college presented their K-9 statue to law enforcement at the Law Enforcement Center in Willmar on Wednesday, April 26, 2023, in Willmar. Chief Jim Felt is at left.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune
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People applaud during a K-9 statue unveiling ceremony at the Law Enforcement Center in Willmar on Wednesday, April 26, 2023.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune
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Willmar Police Department Chief Jim Felt speaks Wednesday, April 26, 2023, during a ceremony to unveil a K-9 statue constructed for law enforcement in Kandiyohi County by Ridgewater College welding students.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune
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Macy Moore is an award-winning photojournalist at the West Central Tribune in Willmar, Minnesota.
She can be reached via email: or phone: 320.214.4338.
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