Springfield police officer and K-9 partner receive Animal Hero Award

Hampden County

Springfield Police Officer Eric Blair and his K9 partner Mr. Warner received the 2021 Animal Hero Award by the Dakin Humane Society during their Humane Awards ceremony. Photo courtesy the Springfield Police Department.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Dakin Humane Society presented Springfield Police Officer Eric Blair and his K-9 partner Mr. Warner with the 2021 Animal Hero Award at the Humane Awards ceremony on Sunday.

K-9 officer Mr. Warner has played an essential role during his career, assisting in many investigations and arrests including firearms cases, narcotics cases, armed robberies and break-ins not only with the Springfield Police Department but other law enforcement agencies across the state. He will be retiring later this year.

Mr. Warner was named after a Warner School 5th grader won an essay contest to name the department’s K-9 and chose his school’s name. Officer Blair added the “Mr.” to add a more approachable and distinguished ring to it.

“This is truly a great honor for me and Mr. Warner,” said K-9 Officer Blair. “I’d like to thank the Dakin Humane Society, everyone who nominated us and Commissioner Clapprood who is a huge supporter of our K9 Unit. We come to work every day just ready to help in our city or any of our surrounding communities that may need our assistance.”

Officer Blair has been a member of the Springfield Police Department since 2011 and Mr. Warner joined the department in 2014 as his partner. Some of Officer Blair’s and Mr. Warner’s career highlights include:

  • August 2020 – Officer Blair and K-9 Mr. Warner assisted the Agawam Police Department during a narcotics investigation that resulted in Mr. Warner locating a large amount of drugs. The previous day Mr. Warner assisted the Wilbraham Police Department in locating a missing elderly man.
  • February 2020 – Mr. Warner assisted in getting a suspect who was believed to be armed to comply with officers’ orders to show his hands. After the suspect was taken into custody, Mr. Warner tracked and located the firearm involved in the incident.
  • October 2019 – Mr. Warner successfully tracked two armed robbery suspects, leading officers to arrest the suspects in Ludlow. Multiple armed robberies occurred in both Springfield and Ludlow prior to the arrests being made.
  • June 2019 – Officer Blair and Mr. Warner received the North American Police Dog Association’s Outstanding Service Award for their role in two incidents in November 2018 leading to the arrests of four individuals and the seizure of an illegal firearm and BB gun.

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