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Police canines meet in Rochester for K9 Games – Newsletter

ROCHESTER – Officer Alex Clement said he was delighted to demonstrate the skill and training of the department’s police dogs.

Clement, a member of the Rochester Police Department’s K9 unit, showed a crowd at Century High School Sunday, June 5, 2022, a police dog design. No matter how the dog shook, pulled, or even lifted, it grabbed the suspect.

Clement’s partner for dogs is Wrecker.

However, it wasn’t Wrecker who did the demonstration. Wrecker on vacation due to injury.

Instead, it was Officer Vedran Tomich’s K9 partner, Titan, who performed the demo. on Clement.

Clement, who was wearing a training jersey, was on Titan’s firm grip in front of a small crowd on the high school football field Sunday evening.

“It’s more pressure than a pinch,” Clement said of being on the receiving end of a canine fist, explaining some of the bruises on his arms from other training sessions.

Rochester Police Officer Shannon McCafferty, lower left, escorts her canine partner Louie in a race against fellow Refugee Protection Police Officer Brian Russell and partner Sarge in a canine show of abilities at Century High School Sunday, June 5, 2022.

John Molseed / Newsletter

K9 unit officers take turns decoying and giving orders. It’s just one of the additional tasks that human officers volunteer to take on in the unit.

Dog handlers in Rochester demonstrated crowd training after introducing more than 50 officers, deputies and other handlers from nearly thirty law enforcement agencies.

Police service dogs and K9 units from across the area in Rochester are collected from 18 field trials in the United States Police Dog Association area. During Tuesday, dogs from those agencies will undergo testing, certification and sometimes competition.

The region includes most of Minnesota, western Wisconsin, and some of Iowa. Canines from departments in that region will work with their bipedal partners in many areas including obedience, detection and agility.

The Rochester Police Department hosted the rally event on a rainy evening.

Officer Brian Russell and his partner Sarge compete with Shannon McCafferty and her partner, also named Sarge, in races to find chests with traces of a substance that can be used to make explosives.

The two are the department’s explosive-detection fangs. In addition to these two, the Rochester Police Department has six other patrol dogs — one per shift, the sergeant said. Wade Blazejak, of the RPD’s K9 unit.

Blazejack said the number of Rochester officers accepting the extra time, training and effort to become a K9 officer speaks to the department’s commitment to public safety.

“It really is a job like no other within the police department,” he said. “You end up spending more time with this dog than your family time.”

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Rochester Police Officer Colin Winters orders his canine partner Mack to parade an obstacle course at Century High School on Sunday, June 5, 2022.

John Molseed / Newsletter

Russell said the skills Sarge learned made him a valuable asset not only to the department but to the region. He and Sarge’s services were called up during President Donald Trump’s visit to Rochester in 2018. The two also helped provide security when the Super Bowl was played in Minneapolis that same year, and at the NCAA Final Four in Minneapolis in 2019.

Russell said canines can do things that humans can’t, but it’s also a use of the power tool of an officer who doesn’t do something that none of his other weapons do.

“We can call them back,” Russell said. “If an officer shoots a bullet, there is nothing we can do once he leaves the gun; a dog, you can cancel it.”

That was when Clement went from fist to grin.

“Once you call the dog, it becomes social again,” Clement said.

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Officers and Canines from more than thirty district law enforcement agencies line up on the Century High School football field on Sunday, June 5, 2022. Officers and Canines are in Rochester for the 18th field trial of the US Police American Kennel Association.

John Molseed / Newsletter

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