Local K9 teams compete on national TV show
(ABC 6 News) – Both the Austin and Rochester Police Department K9 teams competed in the K9 Detection Dog Challenge, a new show that brings together narcotic and explosive detection K9 teams to test their skills and showcase the important role these dogs play in keeping our communities safe.
Derek Ellis and Rudy of the Austin Police Department got to take their narcotics detection and patrol work to the national level.
"It was an honor to represent southeastern Minnesota. It was kind of cool to be able to go onto kind of a national stage with dogs from all over the country," Ellis said.
On top of being a detective, Ellis is also the K9 handler for Austin.
He gives credit to past competitions he and Rudy have done well in to get them to compete at this level against other K9 teams across the country.
Ellis says in the show you’ll get a glimpse of what narcotics and explosives certification looks like for K9 teams in the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA).
Officer Brian Roussell and Sarge of the Rochester Police Department also competed on the show, but in the explosive detection.
Roussell said this was a lot different than anything he’s done before.
"I mean we’ve gone to Super Bowls, we’ve gone to the Final Four, done stuff out there, but never where he’s had to deal with a film crew," Roussell said.
Roussell and Sarge are a single-purpose explosive detection unit, meaning they search for a variety of explosive materials from cars to stadium seating.
The team competed in two events in Raleigh, North Carolina.
"So we did stadium seating. And then the other event was doing cars. So a very typical job of what we do on a day-to-day basis," Roussell said.
Although it was an experience of a lifetime, the surprise cannot be spoiled of who won the competition.
"I can’t say the outcome but it will be a good show from what we got to see and what we did out there," Roussell said.
Both Austin and Rochester K9 teams will compete Sunday, Nov. 28 at 9 p.m. CST on ESPN2.