Officer Keith MacKenzie Rochester Police Department
2015 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year
Officer MacKenzie is a 12 year veteran with the Rochester Police Department. He became the Department’s K9 handler in 2004. His work in the K9 field is outstanding, not only to the community, but to others in the region as well. Office MacKenzie is widely recognized in the State and Country for his work with K9’s and having K9’s as police partners. Officer MacKenzie currently handles two dogs, a yellow lab named Phlirt, owned by Rochester, and a bloodhound named Daisy Mae, owned by the Strafford County Sheriff’s Department. He retired his first dog, named Fina, a German Shepard, in early 2013 and she is now a member of his family.
Officer MacKenzie is the head narcotics canine trainer with the Working Dog Foundation. As a K9 instructor he travels annually to Virginia to teach and participate in bloodhound training. Keith works closely with new recruits, instructing them in K9 tactics, what to look for, and when to call for the unit to respond.
Office MacKenzie often adjusts his schedule to meet the needs of the Department. An example is, during the summer of 2014 when his family had left for vacation, Keith delayed leaving with them so he could participate in a community event the Rochester Department participates in every year. He is a fixture at Department sponsored events. He takes a block of instruction during the Citizens’ Police Academy and he routinely attends Teen Night. Officer MacKenzie is one of our go-to people for community safety days sponsored by area retailers, and he is a member of the Department’s crisis intervention team and the traffic accident reconstruction team.
In 2012 Officer MacKenzie was named as a recipient of the Chief Theodore Blair Memorial Award. In 2014 he was the third recipient of the Willis “Red” Hayes Community Ambassador Award. These are both very prestigious awards in the Rochester Police Department and the City of Rochester, modeled after career police officers who worked tirelessly to make differences in the lives of people they encountered. He has been recognized more than 5 times for the distinguished unit action award, a lifesaving award, and a Chief’s award.
In June of 2014 Officer MacKenzie and his K9 partner, Daisy Mae traveled to St. Francis, Maine, a small town separated from the Canadian border by the St. John’s river, in search of a murder suspect, believed to be armed, and who had been on the run for six days. In just 90 minutes the team located and apprehended the suspect, bringing closure for the victim’s family, and relief to the community at large. The track was difficult due to the terrain, as well as that of other searchers having crisscrossing the area for days. Office MacKenzie said that he’s just doing his job, and the dog is just having fun. It’s a game that ends with victory.
In October 2014 Officer MacKenzie and Daisy Mae traveled to Pennsylvania to help in the manhunt for Eric Frien, who had been on the run for more than a month following the ambush at the Pennsylvania State Police Barracks which injured Trooper Alex Douglass and killed Cpl. Bryon K. Dickson, II. They scented and found old tracks of Frien’s, but did not locate him prior to having to return to NH. Frien was eventually captured seven days later.
Officer MacKenzie is also involved with the community outside of work, as a Youth Hockey coach, he participates annually in the Battle for the Badges hockey game to benefit the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth. He takes his dogs to visit with children at the hospital.
Chief Michael J. Allen, the Rochester Police Department, and the NH Police, Fire and EMS Foundation are extremely proud to present Officer Keith MacKenzie the Police Officer of the Year Award!