Wednesday, March 4, 2009

K-9 cop named parade co-grand marshal


A decorated canine officer will serve as co-Grand Marshal of Kansas City’s 36th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Parade organizers wanted to honor the strong Irish heritage in the Kansas City Police and Fire departments, so they asked each organization to pick someone they felt best represented them (Irish or not). For his numerous acts of valor and excellent police work, KCPD selected Officer David Magruder. He and his canine partner Soty will lead the parade March 17, along with Firefighter Louis “Scooter” Martin, on its new route through Midtown.

Officer David Magruder joined the Kansas City Missouri Police Department in March 1997 after serving 10 years in Missouri sheriff’s departments. Officer Magruder has won numerous awards during his time with the KCPD. Some of his most recent awards include:

* A Certificate of Commendation in June 2007. In that incident, a man wanted in a murder and car-jacking fired 30 rounds at a Kansas City police officer, wounding him during a traffic stop. The shooter fled on foot. Officer Magruder and Soty found and arrested the suspect.

* In August 2008, Officer Magruder earned one of KCPD’s highest honors, the Distinguished Service Medal. Officer Magruder witnessed a teenager crash his car off the side of a bridge over a major highway. The car was engulfed in flames and dangling over the highway, hanging onto the bridge by one tire. Officer Magruder helped put out the fire and rescue the teen.

* Then in September 2008, Officer Magruder earned another Certificate of Commendation. This time, he and Soty found a suspect who had killed his girlfriend in Independence and kidnapped her 4-month-old baby.

Officer Magruder and Soty are certified by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the pair won the 2007 National Police Dog Association’s Bomb Dog Competition, making them the best canine bomb team in the nation. In 2008, the German Shepherd Club of Greater Kansas City honored them as the K-9 Team of the Year.

For more information on Kansas City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, visit

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