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MPD's new K-9 comes to force with passport in paw
Axel 1.jpg
Police detective Eddie Colwell poses with his new partner Axel on Friday afternoon at McMinnville Police Department. Axel is a German Shepherd Malamute mix the department purchased with money from its drug fund. Colwell and Axel should hit the streets in mid-November. - photo by Chris Simones

The newest member of McMinnville Police Department just flew in from Poland three weeks ago.

“Axel has a passport,” said McMinnville police detective Eddie Colwell of his new partner. “I think that’s pretty cool.”

Axel is a very energetic, 17-month-old German Shepherd Malamute mix who has been trained to detect drugs. He currently weighs 68 pounds and will probably put on another 15 to 20 pounds before he stops growing.

Colwell retrieved Axel on Friday morning from Cookeville. Axel’s first two stops in McMinnville were at Sparta Road Veterinary Clinic for his yearly shots and Furry Tails for his monthly grooming.

The city Safety Committee recently approved an expenditure of $8,500 for Police Chief Bryan Denton to purchase Axel. The money used for the purchase came from the department’s drug fund. Money seized in drug arrests and fines paid by drug offenders accumulate in the drug fund.

Axel was born and trained in Poland and received three more weeks of training upon his arrival in Cookeville last month.

Axel and Colwell will begin a training course together this Monday in Cookeville. The two will train five hours a day, five days a week until they complete the course in 6-8 weeks.

“Among other things, I’m going to learn what to look for when Axel is working a scene,” said Colwell. “We’ll learn how to track children, the elderly, and fugitives. I’ll also learn what to do if he should come into contact with fentanyl and how to apply Narcan if I need to.”

Narcan is a brand name for Naloxone, a medication used to block the effects of opioids.

Colwell has been with the Police Department for eight years and Capt. Nichole Mosley said he was chosen to be Axel’s partner for a variety of reasons.

“Eddie has had a lot of training in narcotics and as a general detective. Starting up this program again, it was decided to assign Axel to the Criminal Investigation Division and Det. Colwell seemed to be the best fit,” said Mosley.

Axel is the department’s first K-9 in approximately 15 years. He is scheduled to serve on the force for 10 years before he retires.

Colwell and Axel are expected to hit the streets by mid-November. “I think he’s going to be a great asset to the department,” Colwell said. “He’s going to be a great partner, too.”

Axel was named by Colwell’s children. “They just started throwing names around and Axel was our favorite,” Colwell said.

Axel eats twice a day. He has two cups of dry dogfood in the morning and two more cups in the afternoon. 

Axel’s favorite toy is a blue rubber ball which Colwell uses to reward him.

Axel will live with Colwell full-time.