Operation K-9 on the practice field

[anvplayer video=”5049341″ station=”998130″]

With football just a few weeks away, there is a different type of practice going on at the University of Wisconsin Superior football (UWS) field on Tuesday.

The official Operation K-9 will be held on Thursday, August 12, but WDIO News got a preview of the event during a practice at UWS. K-9 teams from the Hermantown Police Department and St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office were training for situations like suspect searches and felony stops.

Sgt. Griffin Pfeiffer with the Hermantown Police Department says the teams try to practice for anything that can happen in real life.

"They do things that we cannot do," SGT. Pfeiffer said. "They obiously run faster than us. I think sometimes they are smarter. They can smell better. They can find things that we just can’t find."

The K-9’s put themselves in harms way to protect the officers lives as well as others.

Sgt. Pfeiffer says there is a lot of committment that goes into training for these dogs. "Training is absolutely necessary," He says. "It’s a valuable tool. They have to put in a lot of hours to make sure they are up to standards."

WDIO News got to watch the team train for a felony stop, and K-9s like Ranger with St. Louis County and Jack from the Hermantown Police Department showed just how essential they are to the Departments.

The 7th annual Operation K-9 will be held at UWS on August 12 from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event raises funds for area law enforcement K-9 teams. Of the 14 K-9s expected to participate, eight are new to their agency since the event last took place in 2019.

Participating in this years event will be K-9s from five area law enforcement agencies, including Duluth, Hermantown and Superior Police Departments and St. Louis County and Douglas
County Sheriff’s Offices.

The public is invited to attend. The larger area and bleachers can safely accommodate larger crowds even with social distancing.