Duluth Police Department Adding Another K-9

Ryan Juntti
Updated: June 25, 2019 07:42 PM

There will soon be another K-9 on the Duluth Police Department. On Monday night, the city council gave the green light for the Duluth Transit Authority to spend $112,801 on a K-9 officer.


The Duluth Police Department and Duluth Transit Authority are partnering to purchase a new K-9 that can sniff out explosives. The K-9 will cost less than $13,000. The funding for the K-9 is coming from local donors, and the money has been donated specifically to be spent on the K-9 program.

Sgt. Kelly Greenwalt, Duluth Police Department K-9 Coordinator, says having this new K-9 will help improve security both at the Duluth Transit Center and around the city.

A couple weeks ago at the Operation K-9 Event, Luna was introduced as a member of the Duluth Police Department team. Now more new paws are going to be joining the force. The department will be adding a single purpose explosives K-9.

"We're always trying to best use our resources, and reallocate resources where we need it," said Sgt. Greenwalt.

Right now the department has two other explosive detection K-9's, but they are also patrol dogs, tactical dogs, and explosive detection dogs. 

Sgt. Greenwalt says this can put a big burden on the handler, but he says having the new K-9 will hopefully alleviate some of the responsibilities of the other handlers.

The new K-9 will be used to patrol at the Duluth Transit Center, but also around the city. Sgt. Greenwalt says the point of having it is to be ready for anything that may happen. 

"It will help out if there's any threats associated with the buses, or we can use this dog for dignitary visits on the bus routes, we can use it for Grandma's Marathon. That sort of thing," said Sgt. Greenwalt.

Sgt. Greenwalt says while it doesn't happen often, they had had threats in the area, and no dogs available.

"It's one of those things where you don't want to not have it if it happens, so we're planning for the worst case scenario," said Sgt. Greenwalt.

And while we just had Grandma's Marathon, the Tall Ships Festival is right around the corner, so this just adds one more officer to help patrol during those kinds of events.

"It's that layer of security that you need when you have big events like that, and you have a city this size that has the potential," said Sgt. Greenwalt.

This will be the fourth K-9 for the department. Sgt. Greenwalt says the dog is going to be training in September, and they hope to have it in the field by the end of this year.

Duluth Police will also be adding another in January to bring the total to five.


Ryan Juntti

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