State Capitol Police K-9 Balu Retires After More Than Seven Years On Duty

Author: Kirsten Barber

Officers with N.C. State Capitol Police bid one of their K-9 members farewell on Thursday, April 7, 2023, as he entered retirement to live out his golden years with fewer responsibilities. K-9 Balu, a German Shepherd acquired through a cooperative effort with the N.C. State Highway Patrol Canine Unit, joined the force when he was 19 months old to provide an extra level of security around the State Government Complex. 

Balu is an explosive-detection K-9 and can conduct searches for a variety of explosive materials near building exteriors, parking lots, office areas, vehicles, packages and people. Balu served alongside State Capitol Police officers for more than seven years. Officer Johnson partnered with Balu in his first years on the force. Later, Balu partnered with Officer James, then Officer Olson. Balu gained a reputation throughout his career with State Capitol Police as a sociable working dog and an outstanding partner. Alongside Officer Johnson, Balu received a national first-place title as Top Team for Vehicle Search Explosives from the U.S. Police Canine Association and was also recognized for his excellence in parcel, vehicle and room searches.

While working with State Capitol Police, Balu completed:

  • Bomb sweeps for public schools throughout the state
  • Protective sweeps of the Capitol, Legislative Building, Governor’s Mansion and other state facilities
  • Multiple hours of specialty training

In addition to his duties with State Capitol Police, Balu was often requested to assist with safety checks in other jurisdictions or for federal partners. 

Balu will retire with a fellow officer’s family, where he can continue to be a protector and live a great life full of snuggles and love. We appreciate Balu and his commitment to protecting and serving his community, state employees and visitors to the government complex. Since seven years in a dog’s life equates to around 50 human years, retirement is well deserved.

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