The Minneapolis K-9 Unit has been operating since 1966. There are currently 16 officer/K-9 teams.
The dogs are purchased by the Minneapolis Police K-9 Foundation from an independent vending agency. Candidates must be social dogs who are at ease with people, and they must be dogs who enjoy playing but can focus on command. Police K-9s are “nose” dogs, not hunters. The dogs currently in the unit are chiefly German Shepherds, but also include a Malinois, Malinois/Shepherd crosses, and a single Dutch Shepherd.
The dogs are initially trained for detection and apprehension. They then receive further training in explosive or narcotics detection, and other specialties. Sgt. Stender’s partner, Nash, is part of the SWAT team. Above all, the dog’s primary work goal is to make the work safer for the humans he works with.
FFI see the Minneapolis Police Canine Foundation homepage: