Wednesday, February 14, 2024


Canton police K-9 officer and partner to retire from department

Canton Township Police Ofc. Bryan Szostak and his canine partner Ragnar will retire from the department.

Szostak began his 25-year career with the Canton in February 1999. 

Serving as a midnight shift patrol officer for his full career, Szostak 

responded to calls for service, provided traffic enforcement, conducted 

criminal investigations, and responded to emergency situations throughout the community, according to a department spokesman. In addition to his patrol duties, Szostak was involved with three special units for more than 20 years each. Szostak has been a member of the department  prestigious honor guard for the 24 years. As one of the founding members, and current leader, he has participated in Posting of the Colors for a multitude of ceremonial events throughout Canton and across the state.

Szostak is also one of the veteran advisors for the Explorer Unit, a program designed for teens interested in a career in law enforcement. Since 2000, he has dedicated countless hours to train and mentor students through instruction, scenario-based events, and the annual Governor’s Cup state competition.

The role Szostak is most notably associated with is that of Canton Township Police Canine Officer for two decades. Szostak’s passion for this unit has been unwavering and his love and commitment to his former canine  

partners Poncho and Hoss, and his current partner Ragnar, is evident to all who were around them. Szostak and his respective canine partner 

continuously trained in the tracking and apprehension of suspects, 

evidence, building, and missing person searches, crowd control, search warrants, and they 

participated in the ever-popular public demonstrations. Szostal and his 

canine partner were also required to certify bi-annually with the National 

Association of Professional Canine Handlers. Szostak has received 

numerous department awards and citations, as well as citizen recognitions for exceptional service, throughout his career. His knowledge, dedication and outgoing personality will be missed by his co-workers, police officials said.

“Today we honor Officer Szostak’s retirement, celebrating a remarkable career fueled by dedication and a profound commitment to policing,” said Police Chief Chad Baugh. “His transformative role with canine policing and training has set new standards of excellence and expectations within our force. Bryan’s dedication to community outreach, especially his work with children on the importance of police canines, has strengthened the bond between our citizens and police officers. As he embarks on retirement, we are confident that his 

legacy will continue to inspire and impact our community for many years,” Baugh added.