Joseph Crowder was a beloved Boynton Beach police office, K9 handler, and avid dog lover. This Monday, the Boynton Beach dog park will officially be renamed in Officer Crowder’s honor in order to recognize his service to the force and to the city. Crowder died of natural causes this past December while out running.
His name may sound familiar to those of you local to Palm Beach County, Florida. He was honored as officer of the month in April 2013 after he successfully tracked down a man involved in a fatal home invasion case.
A K-9 Officer and dog lover
Crowder, a 14 year veteran, joined the Boynton Beach Police Department’s K9 Unit in 2012. He was partnered with a German Shepherd named Daxxx up until December 2015. Unfortunately Daxxx was forced to retire early at the age of 5 years after developing bulging discs in his neck. Though the dog’s run as an officer was short, it was stellar.
In 2013, the dog tracked a man responsible for stabbing a woman to death. Daxxx led the officers to an area of dense brush where officers eventually arrested the man. In 2015 on live TV, Daxxx tracked down Demetrics Brown, a man who led officers on a 50 mile chase down I-95 before retreating into the bushes behind a house.
Pictured above is Officer Crowder with Daxxx while he was still a young lad (2012) while attending K9 training school.
When Daxxx developed orthopedic problems, Crowder wanted to ensure he enjoyed a comfortable retirement, so he decided to adopt him and officially make him part of his own family.
Later that year, Crowder welcomed a new partner- a 4 year-old Czech-Shepherd named Iro.
Crowder remembered by friends and colleagues
Not only did he serve as an officer for 14 years, but he also proudly served as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army.
The BBPD describe Joe as a “truly kind, dedicated and courageous police officer.” “We will miss his beautiful smile and tender heart.”
Friends say when he wasn’t working or with his family, he was often seen volunteering for his church or community.
Above is Crowder volunteering at the Kiwanis Club of Boynton Beach celebrity server scholarship luncheon at Carrabas in 2013.
Many who served with Crowder when he was stationed in Germany visited his guest book online to offer condolences to family, tell stories, or just rave about what a good friend he was.
Boynton Beach Dog Park
As for the park, commissioner Joe Casello said “I think it pays tribute to one of our great officers who passed away too early and to the K-9 units and those working dogs and what they do for the city of Boynton Beach.”
The builders of the park, JKM developers, also plan to add a bronze statue of a police dog in the near future.
Joe will be missed by many people, including his dogs.
Fellow officers have established a memorial fund for Crowder’s two young children, Jeremiah and Kaleb. Those who would like to contribute can do so here.