Minnesota K-9 team wins high honors at national competition

Canine Corrections Officer Cha Vang and his K-9 partner Sammi won several first-place honors at a narcotics detection competition hosted by the United States Police Canine Association. The event was held in early May in Evansville, Indiana and hosted 64 canine teams from law enforcement agencies throughout the country.

Vang and Sammi scored a perfect score of 200 in two aspects of the competition: the narcotics room search and the narcotics vehicle search. Vang and Sammi were tested on their abilities to locate hidden narcotics. The canines are critiqued for their response, alert, and location abilities. The handlers are tested on their ability to control and direct the canine and to identify canine behavior changes when narcotics are present.

The pair works for the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Lino Lakes and St. Cloud. They started working together in 2019 and Vang has worked as a Corrections Officer since 2006. In the first three months of 2023, the team conducted 200 narcotics searches in both Lino Lakes and St. Cloud. They search areas such as cells, living spaces, visiting rooms and mailrooms.