USPCA Training Brings Officers to Rochester

October 17, 2017 05:56 PM

(ABC 6 News)-- Every year the United States Police Canine Association hosts a national training seminar. This year it's in Rochester.

"It’s important to expose the dogs to all the different environments that they might encounter when they're working on the streets," said Rochester Police Officer Terry Pretzloff.


One of those environments is detecting narcotics in piles of tires.

“The explosive dogs are in one group and the narcotics detection dogs in another group," said Pretzloff. 

Another training exercise is having the bomb dogs detect C4 in a bus compartment.

In another part of town, canines are participating in environmental scenarios.

"We work on apprehensions that the dogs have to defeat different environmental distractors. What I mean by environmental is slippery floors, dark areas, confined spaces, items may be coming at them; things that we try to be as creative as we can, things that they might see on the road while we're working them," said Rochester Police Officer, Wade Blazejak.

In one scenario, the canines try navigating up slippery steps while a bucket of balls is bearing down on them while they try to get to a decoy at the top of the staircase.

"It develops the drive; it develops a confidence about them that they can defeat any obstacle," said Blazejak.

Those obstacles may be something these dogs will experience out on the streets.

"We can run dogs and narcotics and different things, but when we show up in the middle of the night it's completely dark. That's the real safety value in these dogs. These dogs will round the corner before we have to put a human element or another officer around that corner and that safety is really invaluable, both to the police department and the members of the community," Blazejak said.

"They serve a huge purpose and it's very important to have them in our agency,” said Pretzloff.

This training is bringing in agencies from Iowa, Wisconsin, and parts of Minnesota. Altogether around 50 canines will be going through five different seminars.


Marissa Collins

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