By Alyssa Schnugg
For five years, Oxford Police K9 Mattis has served the community by keeping his nose to the ground and sniffing out criminals and finding the lost.
Now, it’s time for the 6-year-old Belgian Malinois to spend the rest of his years as a treasured family pet.
On Tuesday, the Oxford Board of Aldermen approved Mattis’ retirement from the Oxford Police Department at the request of Interim Chief Jeff McCutchen.
“Mattis has been with us for five years,” McCutchen told the board.
Mattis has a medical condition that affects his breathing and it has gotten worse as he grows older, McCutchen said.
Mattis will continue living with his handler, K9 Officer Alex Moffett who has cared for Mattis since he arrived at OPD at a year old.
In his five years with OPD, Mattis has helped apprehend a shooting suspect, located a missing 3-year-old child in the woods at the Highway 7/9 split, recovered an Alzheimer’s patient and just recently, helped local and federal investigators discover 4 pounds of heroin at the Oxford post office.
“Mattis has been phenomenal,” McCutchen said. “He’s really one of those breeds with a good amount of drive but also community-friendly. We’re really going to miss Mattis.”
McCutchen said the department is currently looking at purchasing a new K9 for the department.
“We’re actually doing some test runs,” he said. “We’re looking at a Labrador that will do the same things as Mattis, detect narcotics and also do tracking.”