Deputy Carlson and K9 Cleo recently attended the United States Police Canine Association National Patrol Dog Certification in Destin, Fla. The certification is the same as a regional certification, but the judging is much more stringent at the national level. Ninety-three dog/handler teams competed at the national level this year with some very tough competition from all over the United States. Deputy Carlson and K9 Cleo not only competed as a single team, they were also part of a team representing Region 12 (Minnesota).
The Region 12 team members
• Deputy Adam Carlson, K9 Cleo, Winona County
• Lt. Trace Erickson, K9 Roman, Houston County
• Officer Derek Ellis, K9 Rudy, Austin PD
• Deputy Bob Pepper, K9 Ozzie, Douglas County
Once the smoke cleared at the end of the trial there were some very close scores. The Winona County duo certified at the national level and also earned several awards. These awards included fourth place in overall scent work, second place in agility, and sixth place overall out of 93 dog teams. They were also crowned the first-place team in the region team competition.
Deputy Carlson and K9 Cleo would like to give special thanks to the Minneapolis K9 Unit with whom they traveled, trained, and competed the entire week. Everyone in the group supported one another throughout the vigorous training and competition. Deputy Carlson and K9 Cleo are honored to have been part of the group representing Minnesota at the national level.
Finally, the Winona County team would like to give a round of applause to Lt. Trace Erickson and K9 Roman from Houston County for posting the highest score in the trial and taking home the national championship.