Cedar Rapids K9 Officer Talks About Tracking Down Isaiah Sweet

By Jillian Petrus, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Cedar Rapids K9 Marco is a 9-year-old Belgian Malinois.

He's one of seven Cedar Rapids Police dogs.

Marco works alongside Officer Al Fear who spoke exclusively with TV9 about Marco's involvement in apprehending 17-year-old double murder suspect, Isaiah Sweet.

Officer Fear says a sergeant spotted Sweet near the woods behind Theisen's on Blairs Ferry Road. Fear brought out Marco and Sweet surrendered without a fight.

"His first statement to me when I got him in handcuffs was, ' I knew it was over when I heard the dog coming'," Officer Fear said.

Fear told us local authorities and DCI played a major role in capturing Sweet, but he also never doubted the force behind his four-legged companion.

"I'm very lucky to have him as my partner," says Fear.

The dog proved that point again on Tuesday night. As we tried to interview Fear about the manhunt, a fight broke out one block away. Fear and Marco were first to the scene.

"There were at least forty to fifty people, several with baseball bats, fighting in the street," Fear says, "Marco helped me just by being there it was me with forty other people all pretty angry and all violent."

From a very public manhunt to a massive brawl, Fear says this week revealed a bigger problem that deserves citywide attention.

"We've had the same number of officers in our department since 1990," he says, "As you know the city has grown consistently for twenty-two years. We definitely need more officers in our department, not only more officers, we need more dogs to keep our community safe."

Police dogs cost between 11,000 to 13,000 thousand dollars and are not paid for with city funds, it's all donations.

Fear says his K9 has more than proved his worth.

"I never want my partner to get hurt, but I also want to go home to my family at night, bottom line these dogs save lives."

A K9 fundraiser is set for June 2nd from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm at Pet's Playhouse on Jacolyn Drive Northwest in Cedar Rapids. All the funds go to helping pay for the dogs car for both Cedar Rapids and Linn County.
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