Four-legged partners help Kasson Police Department - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Four-legged partners help Kasson Police Department


KASSON, Minn. (KTTC) -- Four-legged friends aren't necessarily the first thing people think of when they hear the words law enforcement, but K-9 dogs are pivotal partners on the force.

From the time these pups are born they begin extensive hands-on training with their handlers to help keep our streets safe.

Seven-year-old Rex and 3 1/2-year-old Liberty are part of the Kasson Police Department. Officer Josh Hanson is Rex's handler and said the K-9 dogs are unique partners.

"They're a great asset. They can do things that we can't do as humans," explained Hanson.

Just last weekend, Liberty helped her handler, Officer Jesse Reding, apprehend Michael Nelson, after he led police on a car chase in Hayfield.

Liberty found Nelson all because a breeze drifted a scent her way.

"The officers on scene did a good job setting up a perimeter and were able to hold the suspect from running any further, so he held up in a garage. The dog was able to smell the person inside the garage and led us right to the garage where he was hiding," said Reding.

Just like humans, it takes K-9's practice to be their best.

"It's both obedience and being able to jump over obstacles out in the field, like if he needs to crawl throw a culvert or go over a fence. He needs to be able to do those things when he is working," said Hanson.

K-9 dogs are trained on more than just obstacle courses, they're also trained on apprehension techniques.

"They are taught and trained to bite and hold and it just allows us to be able to get up and apprehend the suspect and take him into custody," said Reding.

Officers say the K-9's are usually used weekly. Reding said best part of having the dogs is that they can take them out to interact with the community.

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