Police K-9 Units

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 of having police K-9s is to assist their handlers in the location and/or apprehension of criminals and the deterrence of crime.

Photo of Officer Dahl and K-9 Archie at their graduation.

K-9 Teams

  • 1979 to 1983 - Roger Flom and Sundance
  • 1983 to 1990 - Roger Flom and Frank
  • 1990 to 1991 - Roger Flom and Nick
  • 1993 to 1999 - Gene Grave and Gunther
  • 1999 to 2006 - Tim Mastrud and Mac
  • 2001 to 2003 - Gene Grave and Smokey
  • 2007 to 2008 - Brian Metling and Hunter
  • 2008 to 2010 - Brian Metling and Storm
  • 2011 to 2012 - Brian Metling and Maverick
  • 2012 to 2014 - Jeff Burbank and Maverick
  • 2014 to August 2015 - Brian Metling and Maverick
  • May 2019 to present - Andrew Dahl and Archie

Becoming a Police K-9 Handler

Only officers with the below qualifications are considered for the K-9 program:

  • Community experience
  • Appropriate living arrangements
  • Officer’s work ethic

Making the Best Police K-9s

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 & Their Handler

In Red Wing, the K-9s and handlers attend a 12- to 13-week training course in which instructors teach the handler how to train the canine 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.