Saturday, June 22nd, 2024 Church Directory

Ask A Trooper

Question: Does the Minnesota State Patrol have K9s? In what purpose do they serve?


Answer: The Minnesota State Patrol K-9 unit is currently staffed with 15 K-9 teams trained to detect the odor of narcotics, and one team trained to detect explosives. The State Patrol's dogs are not trained in other typical police functions such as apprehension or tracking. They live with their State Trooper handlers' families.


The K-9s are responsible for sniffing out illegal drugs destined for Minnesota communities each year. All Minnesota State Patrol K-9 teams regularly respond to requests for assistance from allied law enforcement agencies.


Requests range from assisting other troopers on traffic stops, to assisting local law enforcement where drugs are believed to be hidden inside houses, vehicles or other structures.


The dogs are Belgian Malinois, German Shepherd, Dutch Shepherd, German short hair and wire hair pointers. The unit also consists of a Hungarian Vizsla, which is the patrols only explosive detecting K-9.


These dogs are trained to sniff loaded semi-trailers by walking on top of the cargo, or by squeezing through gaps in the cargo, to check the entire length of the trailer. They are able to do this in a fraction of the time it would take a human to search the same vehicle.


Troopers and their K-9 partners meet as a group for two days of training each month, and handlers perform maintenance training throughout the month. This regular training is imperative for both the dog and handler to maintain their high level of performance.


A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205.  (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at,