By Terry Lehrke, News Editor
Officer Jon West, the K-9 handler for the Little Falls Police Department (LFPD), has taken the lead in a three-day canine scenario based training event to be held at Camp Ripley and in the city of Little Falls.
Beginning Thursday and running through Saturday, April 28, West and six-year-old K-9 Leson, will join 33 other K-9 handlers and trainers from all parts of Minnesota, Canada, Iowa and Wisconsin, to take part in the training. All are members of the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA).
The training event is an advanced course for K-9 handlers to learn and practice real-life scenarios they would encounter on the street.
These scenarios include building searches, area searches, tracks, narcotics training inside vehicles and building, ground-fighting survival enhancement, live maneuver drills with gunfire and incorporating Critical Incident Response Teams (CIRT) with K-9 handles in high-stress situations.
The training will take place on various courses and facilities at Camp Ripley, including the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility, but will also include areas within the community, West told the Little Falls City Council Monday night.
At Camp Ripley, narcotics training with the State Patrol will take place and on the A-12 range, movements with gunfire training exercises. Jujitsu ground-fighting will also be covered.
Some of the areas that will be used in the community during the training include the Little Falls Community High School, the vacant AirBorn building on the west side of Little Falls, warehouses and residential and rural areas in the city. A vacant mobile home in the Suburban Mobile Home Park has been approved for use in the training as well.