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HPD K-9 officer and handler are on the job

K-9 officer Brisco is back on the job for the Hudson Police Department with his new partner K-9 handler and police officer Bob Larson. Photo by Margaret A. Ontl

After nearly a year off, K-9 officer Brisco, a Belgian Malinois-German Shepherd hybrid, is back in service at the Hudson Police Department with his new partner Officer and K-9 handler Bob Larson.

Larson, a 1999 Hudson High School graduate, went into law enforcement after graduating of University of Minnesota at Mankato with a degree in law enforcement.

It was not a lifelong goal; in fact, his father HPD Lt. Paul Larson discouraged it.

"It turned out to be my area of interest," said Larson, who has been in the field for over five years, the last three with HPD.

Larson, applied for the position of K-9 handler last year, when the department restarted its canine program after several years off.

This year he applied again and earned the position. Larson and Brisco reported to St. Paul Police Canine Unit training facility on March 8 for three months of intense training.

Brisco, a three-year-old had been through the training last year with then K-9 handler, Todd Ludvig, who later resigned the position.

"I have always wanted to be involved with canine work," said Larson, who was thrilled to get the chance this time around. "It has always been a goal of mine."

The training is grueling for both the dog and handler. The dog is exhausted at the end of the day and the handler is bruised, sore, stiff and exhausted.

"It was a lot of work and a lot of fun," said Larson. "I came home with a lot of bruises and soreness. A lot of the handlers said they would never do that again but I would."

Teams in school with Brisco and Larson included the first K-9 team for the Stillwater Police Department, one from Duluth and several from outer-ring suburbs.

"Brisco is a great dog," said Larson. "Our biggest challenge was training him to heel on the right side because I am left-handed. Otherwise, he had no problem transitioning to a new handler." The pair graduated on May 27.

The team has been on the job since the late June and has already helped with mutual aid for St. Croix County and recently assisted in a search in Ellsworth. They train once a month with the St. Croix County K-9 unit.

"It has been fun and I am learning a lot," said Larson. "It is different than regular patrol work. You have to keep up with the training and take care of him 24/7."

The efficiency of using a K-9 officer is one of the biggest reasons to have them on the force.

In the fall, Brisco and Larson will continue their training with narcotic and drug training and certification.

Nearly all of the support for the K-9 unit is donated from food to veterinarian services. If you want to donate to the Hudson Police Department K-9 unit or would like to schedule a public demonstration you may contact the department and K-9 handler Bob Larson at (715) 386-4771.