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ASK A TROOPER: How about the canines?

Question: Does the State Patrol have dog handler units? If so, please tell me all about them. I am very interested and I really have not heard much about if the state patrol has that or not like many other departments do. Thank you!

Answer: I contacted Sgt. Robert Frisby, who is the canine coordinator in our investigative services section. According to him, we have a total of 14 dogs statewide. Most are Belgium Malinois; however, we do have a couple Labs. All the dogs are single purpose drug detection dogs; they do not do tracking or apprehension work. Sgt. Frisby also gave me a lot of other interesting information about our K-9 unit.

Our unit is well respected regionally, and nationally. A number of unit members have placed high at national detector dog trials. Last year at the United States Police Canine Association National Detector Dog Trials in Mississippi, we had teams placed first and third nationally. We have one other previous National Champion in the unit and several that have placed in the top ten and 20 in their careers. We also have one ATF Explosive Detection Dog assigned to our CMV section based out of the metro. That dog is also a Lab and is monitored by the ATF.

Our handlers work the road with their canine partners responding to calls for service in the stations to which they are assigned. When not responding to calls for service our trooper/handlers try to make the most of their time and work with their canine partners. Most of the canine deployments annually are on State Patrol traffic stops. We seize considerable contraband annually and are used by local and federal agencies regularly to help with vehicle stops and sniffs. Our teams are also used to assist with search warrants on structures when requested. We are fortunate to have a very close working relationship with many of the allied agencies in the areas we serve.

If you have any questions for future columns concerning motor vehicle traffic in Minnesota, please send your questions to: “ASK A TROOPER” c/o Sgt. Curt S. Mowers MN State Patrol P.O. Box 644 Brainerd, MN 56401 or email questions to with Ask A Trooper in the subject line.