Last week, the Scott County Sheriff’s Office’s new K9 Deputy Floyd, a two-year-old purebred Belgian Malinois, graduated from the St. Paul Police K9 Unit Basic Canine Handlers Course (Police K9 Academy).
Deputy Floyd and his handler Deputy Olson, endured 12 weeks of intensive training. Olson noted, “The most challenging part of training was adapting to the new training style and not resorting back to my old training habits. I enjoyed the entire training but my favorite part was work-based scenarios.” Deputy Floyd is now certified to work patrol and be utilized to locate persons and evidence, along with enhancing officer and public safety.
“The use of K9s by law enforcement has proven to be an effective and efficient tool in the fight against crime. A properly trained and handled K9 team can be the best less-lethal aid in the prevention and detection of crime,” said Sheriff Luke Hennen.
The Sheriff’s Office provides K9 assistance to the entire county – covering all cities and townships and even assisting neighboring counties. “We are able to quickly respond and assist all agencies within our jurisdiction to provide a tool to enhance officer and public safety,” said Deputy Olson. Although the K9 Unit works a normal schedule, it is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as needed.
Deputy Floyd was born in the Netherlands and imported by Police Service Dogs, Inc., located in Florida. He was selected for the Sheriff’s Office by the St. Paul Police Department, which trains officers and dogs from a five-state area in its nationally recognized program. Deputy Olson describes Deputy Floyd as “an easy-going, high-drive dog that enjoys his work.”
The purchase and training of K9s is expensive. “The initial cost of this new K9 was approximately $18,000,” noted Sheriff Hennen. Over the years, private donors and several organizations have graciously supported the Scott County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit. “These community partnerships allow the Sheriff’s Office access to these special services that further our ability to serve Scott County’s public safety and community needs, while minimizing the burden on taxpayers,” added Sheriff Hennen.
Deputy Floyd is Deputy Olson’s second K9 he has handled while working at the Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Floyd replaced K9 Deputy Bojar, who retired in February of this year, after nine years of service with the Sheriff’s Office. Both dogs live at Olson’s residence. “My family enjoys having the dogs around and are proud of the job they do. They enjoy telling stories about the dogs and understand that they are a tool for work and not a pet” said Olson. He added that, “When I am home and outside he will be out of the kennel and socializing with me and my family.” Deputy Floyd is even named after Olson’s grandfather.
Deputy Floyd and Deputy Olson will undergo countless hours of continuing and ongoing training. They will specialize in criminal suspect searches, apprehensions, evidence searches, area searches, scene security, and tracking. Deputy Floyd and Deputy Olson will be going to narcotics training this fall.