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.