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Saturday, May 25, 2024

INTERESTING K-9: Blairstown Mourns Police Dog Caster

Cpl. Richard Herzer and his partner Caster. Photo courtesy of Blairstown Police Department.

Blairstown residents are mourning the passing of veteran K-9 Officer Caster, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge Jan. 8.

Caster was surrounded by his family, which included his partner, Cpl. Richard Herzer.

“Caster will be greatly missed by our department and the people he worked and served alongside,” police said in a statement.

A graduate of the Union County Sheriff’s Office Canine Training Academy for Narcotics Detection and Patrol where he trained with Cpl. Herzer, Caster arrived in Blairstown in 2018.

Caster is credited with many accomplishments with the Blairstown Township Police Department including drug investigations, tracking and searches.

A Belgian Malinois, Castor was a key component in the police department’s expansion of resources in 2018. Along with the K-9 unit, the department added two officers and extended coverage hours.

“In addition to routine law enforcement efforts, the police department is working multiple fronts to combat the opioid epidemic,” said Chief Scott Johnsen. “The department is building close relationships with students, educators and administrators at local schools so that our youngest citizens recognize the role of our police officers as trusted allies in protecting our community.”

A memorial for Caster has been established on the front lawn of the municipal building for anyone who wishes to leave flowers and pay their final respects to Caster.

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.