Rochester K9 Teams Nationally Certified

May 30, 2018 09:31 PM
By: Hannah Tiede, ABC 6 News

(ABC 6 News) — The Rochester K9 unit is paws-itively thrilled to announce two of its members are nationally certified in explosive detection.

K9’s Sarge and Riley returned from New Jersey with partners Officer Brian Rousell and Officer Terry Pretzloff where they went through extensive training in odor recognition. They also completed an indoor and outdoor search for explosives, followed by a package search.

Both teams passed with impressive scores and gained their National Detector Dog Certification. “If you recall, a bachelors degree to a masters degree is basically how you would benefit having this national certification,” said Officer Rousell.

K9 Sarge placed fourth in the parcel search.

“We’ve got a friendly competition going on between the both of us on who’s got the better dog and he walked away with the trophy,” said Officer Pretzloff.

Both K9 Riley and Sarge placed in the top 15 out of the 40 dogs that participated in the training.


By: Annalisa Pardo, KIMT

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Officer Terry Pretzloff handles Riley, an explosive detection K-9. Both are heading to Minneapolis to work along other law enforcement agencies during the Super Bowl.

Just like the teams playing, Riley’s focus is getting the ball.

“He knows if he finds the odor, he’s going to get his ball,” Officer Pretzloff said.

Riley is trained to detect upwards of 30 odors that could indicate explosives are present. When Riley notices one of these odors, he sits to alert Officer Pretzloff, and then gets a ball as a reward.

“The past month or so we’ve just been hitting training a little bit harder to ensure the dogs up to par,” Officer Pretzloff said.

But he said Riley is already prepared.

“Regardless of what the dog’s doing, he’s got to detect an odor. Whether it’s working the Super Bowl or detecting a suspicious package here in Rochester,” he said. “He’s been a good dog and successful.”

Officer Pretzloff and Riley have a close bond and are a championship team.

“It’s rewarding,” he said. “There are a lot of aspects of the job that can affect you personally, or are stressful. Having a police dog … kind of makes those other stresses go away.”

Workers evacuate Medtronics plant in Wabasha after explosives threat

Workers evacuated the Medtronic manufacturing plant in Wabasha Thursday afternoon after an explosives threat was found about 12:25 p.m. in a plant bathroom.

“The note said the building was going to blow up,” said Wabasha Police Officer Randy Wagoner. “So somebody hit the fire alarm and everybody evacuated.”

Wagoner said the workers later went home after Medtronic decided to close the facility for the afternoon and evening shifts while officers checked the facility.

Police and sheriff’s deputies used the hospital across the street as a staging area, but when they went through the plant, nothing was found. As a precaution, a bomb-sniffing dog from Rochester was also deployed, but also did not find anything.

“We are aware of a threat at our facility in Wabasha and are cooperating with local authorities,” said Medtronic spokesman Fernando Vivanco. “The safety of employees is our top priority and we evacuated our facility earlier today. The local authorities conducted a full sweep and have concluded the facility is clear. We expect the location will resume operations tomorrow morning.”

Rochester K9s Take Certification Test

By: Meghan Reistad
Updated: 02/01/2016 8:19 PM
Created: 02/01/2016 8:11 PM

(ABC 6 News) — An update to a duo we’ve been following since they first arrived in Rochester.

ABC 6 News first met Riley and Sarge when they were just playful pups. Now, at 10 months old, they have completed their initial training, taking their certification tests Monday to become explosive detection dogs.

“It’s rewarding, taking this dog from (when) he was a puppy, didn’t know anything, now he’s a trained explosive detection dog,” said Terry Pretzloff with Rochester Police Department.

Riley is now ready for work. After a bit more practice, Sarge is expected to be ready to start in a few weeks.

Three arrested in Olmsted County burglary

NEAR ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Three people were arrested Sunday after a burglary just northeast of Rochester.

According to the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, a 67-year-old woman looked out the window at her home on the 7200 block of Dresser Dr. NE in Haverhill Township at about 6:28 a.m. Sunday, and saw lights in her detached garage. She watched as two people left the garage and she contacted law enforcement.

The two suspects ran away when deputies arrived. Paul Moe, 26 of Lake City was quickly captured on the property. Ashton Lee, 23 of Dodge Center was tracked down 6.5 miles away from the property by a K9 and tracks in the snow.

Deputies saw a car driving slowly near the scene of the burglary and pulled it over. The sheriff’s office said they discovered the driver, Scott Boland, 44 of Rochester, was connected to the burglary and arrested. Deputies found 7.5 grams of methamphetamine on Boland when he was taken to the jail. He also admitted to swallowing some methamphetamine when he first saw law enforcement. Boland was taken to Mayo Clinic – Saint Marys for treatment.

Moe, Lee and Boland each face burglary charges. Boland also faces a drug possession charge.

Olmsted County K9 receives potentially life-saving gift of body armor

KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Jango in his new vest / Photo: Olmsted County Sheriff's Office
Jango in his new vest / Photo: Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office

The Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office has received a gift of body armor for its K9 Jango.

The vest, which is bullet and stab protective, was a gift from a non-profit group in Massachusetts called Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.

The vests are made in the United States and can make a life saving difference for the K9s working hard to keep us safe.

K9 vests can cost up to $2,200 and come with a five year warranty.

Rochester K9 Officers Train to Detect Explosives

Created: 12/08/2015 7:17 PM
Ben Henry

(ABC 6 News) — Local authorities not only turn to their partners or back-up for assistance, but also count on their four-legged officers in the department.

“Yeah, they are excited to work all the time,” said Rochester Police Officer Wade Blazejak.

Blazejak is one of Rochester Police Department’s K9 handlers. He is teamed up with a German Shepard named Riot; they were brought together in March of this year.

Blazejak’s K9, as well as two other German Shepherds and two Labradors, are going through training to enhance their specific skills.

“Each dog has individual strengths, and there are areas we can certainly improve upon. So we are here, breaking things down session by session,” Blazejak said.

We first introduced you to two labs in May when they were just puppies and didn’t have names. On Tuesday, Riley and Sarge were being trained to detect explosives.

“It certainly makes our job easier,” said Sergeant Paul Wilson with the Rochester Police Department’s Narcotic’s Unit.

Just last month, a K9 unit was called to the Rochester International Airport’s FedEx Terminal for a major drug bust. Because the K9 detected drugs, authorities were able to follow through with a search warrant that led to an arrest.

“That package sniff that occurred that day was an integral part of us obtaining that search warrant,” said Wilson, “It was the final piece of probable cause we needed to get our search warrant to precede with our investigation. We certainly could have not done that without the dog.”

Earlier in November, one of Olmsted County’s K9 units was used during the bomb scare at Crossroads Center; warning authorities it had detected explosives in the car in question.

“Gradually, as the K9 department has gotten bigger and bigger, we’re always reaching out to them,” Wilson added.

These dogs can serve all up to 10 years, and the Rochester Police Department considers them a good asset to the community.

K9 Unit Searching Area in Rochester Following Break-in

Created: 11/05/2015 1:49 PM
(ABC 6 News) — Several police were searching the area on the 2800 block of 26th St. NW after a report of a break-in at a home.

According to police, a man arrived at home and heard noises coming from inside the house. The homeowner called 9-1-1. When police arrived, they went inside and also heard noises. Authorities say someone escape through a basement window.

The Olmsted County K9 Unit was brought in to search the surrounding area, but did not find anyone.

UPDATE: Bomb Squad Gives an All Clear

Updated: 11/04/2015 9:48 PM
Created: 11/04/2015 1:24 PM
By: Ben Henry

4:23: Bomb squad gives an all clear.

3:23: Bomb squad robot is going into the car to search for explosives

3:06: A bomb squad from the Twin Cities has just arrived at the scene.

2:56 pm: We have just confirmed the suspect in the car flagged for explosives in Rochester is the same man flagged for a bomb threat at MSP airport this morning.

According to the Minneapolis Airport Commission, the suspect was driving erratically, yelling something out the window about the possibility of a bomb being in the airport.

Two people then made 911 calls.

The suspect fled and made it to Apply Valley, where he was pulled over for driving erratically, but not for the bomb threat.

When police were checking him out there, he fled again.

He ended up making his way to Rochester.

FBI is currently interviewing him right now to make sure he is the same person, but according to the Minneapolis Airport Commission, they believe he is the same person.

Family members told police this man has mental health issues.

(ABC 6 News) — Multiple Rochester police vehicles are surrounding a car in the parking lot of Home Federal Bank in Crossroads Center.

Around noon, police pulled over a car. According to police, someone reported a suspicious person naked inside the car. Police say the driver fled when officers arrived. The plate was ran, and came back with an alert tied to bomb threats previously made at MSP airport.

However, we know the Olmsted County Sheriff K9 Unit was brought to the scene.

A red Nissan Altima was searched, and Capt. John Sherwin says the dog detected explosive materials. Our news crew has been asked to move away from the scene. Police have set up a perimeter and are waiting for the bomb squad to arrive. The evacuation is not mandatory; however, police are helping them leave if they chose to evacuate.

According to one witness, police sped past the area, chasing the car into the parking lot. They say police had guns drawn on the person was inside that vehicle.

Friedell Middle School executed a modified dismissal on the east side of the the school, opposite the active police scene.

This is a developing story. Stay with ABC 6 News for more information as it becomes available.

K-9 officer captures man who fled from deputies

EYOTA, Minn. (KTTC) – By Kimberly Davis, Anchor/Reporter

With the help of a K-9 officer, a suspect who fled on foot was captured and arrested early Sunday morning.

Stephen Grogg, 36, of Rochester and Thomas Iverson, 45, of Houston were arrested around 12:30 a.m. Sunday in Eyota at Highway 42 near Interstate-90. Law enforcement said an Olmsted County Deputy conducted a speeding traffic stop, and Iverson got out of the vehicle and took off when the deputy got back into his car.

Grogg was arrested after Iverson took off. Deputies say a K-9 was bought in to apprehend Iverson, who was hiding behind bushes and not cooperating with deputies. The dog latched on to Iverson’s arm and he surrendered. Capt. Scott Behrns of the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office said 17 grams of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia was found inside Grogg’s vehicle.

Iverson apparently had several warrants out for his arrest, including one felony warrant out of Olmsted County. Both are facing a number of charges including 2nd degree possession of meth.