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We should be very proud

The presence of K-9 patrol squads and officers in our community last weekend and into Tuesday was impressive. We should be proud. Mark McDonough, president of the United States Police Canine Association for Region 12 said Monday night's turn out ...

The presence of K-9 patrol squads and officers in our community last weekend and into Tuesday was impressive.

We should be proud. Mark McDonough, president of the United States Police Canine Association for Region 12 said Monday night's turn out for the public demonstration was the most people he's ever seen at one. He also said ours was one of the best trials he's been to in a long time. McDonough, who is with the Coon Rapids Police Department, has been a police officer for 26 years, run with four dogs for a total of 16 years and been working with dogs for the past 20 years.

At the banquet Tuesday evening at the Park Rapids American Legion, others congratulated the community and our local police department for a job well done. Police chief Terry Eilers said he really appreciated the guests coming to our community. "A lot of people were amazed," he said. "It has given a lot of exposure to K-9s and what they do." Eilers also commented he was aware that several resorts in the area had brought their guests to the event.

At the banquet trophies and other honors were given to those placing among the top three in each of the trial events with our own Dan Kruchowski and Pax receiving first place for a perfect score in agility.

Other remarkable K-9 unit achievements in the line of duty were recognized as well. We met Sgt. Chuck McCree and his canine Midnite of the Minneapolis Police Department at the obedience site. Following is an account of one of their accomplishments:

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On March 24, 2008 Sgt. McCree and K-9 Midnite were on routine patrol on the Northside of Minneapolis. A neighbor called 911 to report two males had forced in his neighbor's rear door. Sgt. McCree and Midnite were first to arrive and secured the burglars' entry point. The entry point had been forced in by the suspects.

When district squads arrived, McCree and Midnite entered the rear door and a verbal K-9 warning was given. Midnite was released and McCree heard the suspects run up the interior stairs to the second level of the dwelling... McCree held at the entry point and saw two suspects leap from the second floor balcony, hit the ground and start running. The two suspects split up, going in opposite directions. One suspect had McCree close behind, while the other suspect had perimeter officers in foot pursuit. As McCree's foot pursuit was entering secondary yards, McCree noticed his K-9 partner Midnite somehow exited the dwelling, located his handler and was now running alongside McCree.

After a verbal K-9 warning, Midnite was directed to apprehend suspect No. 1 but had to negotiate around another officer who appeared and was trying to cut off the suspect. Midnite took the suspect to the ground apprehending him on the arm. As McCree approached the suspect with Midnite apprehending him, McCree noticed suspect No. 2 had doubled back in an attempt to elude his pursuing officers but had not seen that McCree and his K-9 were in the yard next to him. Midnite was called off the first suspect apprehension and was redirected to apprehend suspect No. 2 who was then taken down by Midnite and apprehended on the upper shoulder. Both suspects were arrested and charged with burglary.

There were 84 K-9 units here. They all have stories that make you proud to know them.

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