Seven dogs graduate from Police K9 training
After 12 weeks of intensive preparation, seven dogs graduated from their Police K-9 training on Sept. 6. The Minneapolis graduates are:
- Officer Tom Fahey and K-9 Dutch
- Officer Brian Thureson and K-9 Gus
- Officer Shawn Brandt and K-9 Deacon
- Officer Eric Bullen and K-9 Gunnar
- Officer Sokhom Kiann and K-9 Icon
- Officer Janelle Graff and K-9 Ruger
- Officer Laura Turner and K-9 Simon
- In addition to the Minneapolis graduates, St. Cloud Officer Janelle Graff and K-9 Ruger also graduated from the Minneapolis K-9 training program.
In addition to teaching the dogs exceptional obedience skills, the initial 12-week training program requires the dogs to learn how to help officers track and apprehend suspects as well as search building and articles. The dogs provide invaluable assistance to precinct officers. They help locate and apprehend suspects and they can be used to assist with crowd control. The dogs’ superior sense of smell is crucial in situations where narcotics or explosives are involved.
The recent graduation ceremony is a milestone in the training process, but not the end of their training. Working with a police dog is a big commitment for the handlers. The dogs live with the officers, and the officers are required to do something with their dogs on a daily basis. Additionally, the dogs and their handlers must attend four-hour sessions of unit training each week.
The frequent training is part of the dogs’ ongoing certification process. All of Minneapolis’ police dogs must maintain certification with the U.S. Canine Association in order to continue working with officers.
The dogs that recently graduated will be cross-trained so they can assist with patrol, narcotics and explosive detection. When the additional training is completed later this year, Minneapolis will have four dogs with explosive detection training and 11 dogs trained to assist with narcotics enforcement.
Published Sep. 18, 2013