The Red Wing Police Department has a long heritage of having police K-9s and is extremely proud of the services the handlers and their K-9 partners have provided for the City of Red Wing. The primary purpose for having police K-9s is to assist their handlers in the location and/or apprehension of criminals and the deterrence of crime.
In August of 2015, K-9 Maverick retired. Currently, the Red Wing Police Department does not have a K-9 team and the program will be restructured for the future.
Becoming a police K-9 handler
Only officers with the below qualifications are considered for the K-9 program:
In the United States, the most common breed of K-9 associated with police patrol work is the German Shepherd. Dogs such as the Beauceron, Belgian Malinois, Doberman pinscher, Giant Schnauzer and the Rottweiler are also used depending on a department’s requirements. Labradors, Beagles and Setters are special purpose dogs used for narcotics and detecting contraband food items.
If a police department is looking for a K-9 with prior training, they look for what is best for their needs. The K-9 should have a steady, calm disposition with good self defense and play/hunting skills, which a lot of the training is based on. Seasonal weather conditions may also be a factor in what breed of dog is used and specifically what the K-9 will be trained in.
Training a police K-9 and their handler
In Red Wing, the K-9s and handlers attend a 12 to13 week training course in which instructors teach the handler how to train the K-9 in obedience, area searches, building searches, handler protection, aggression, agility, tracking and article searches. After the initial training course and certification, the K-9 team normally receives further training in narcotic detection. A yearly certification is required for this.
For more information about police K-9 teams, please visit: