The Rochester Police Department announced today that one of their officers and his K-9 partner competed at a national competition that will air on National TV later this month.

According to a news release from the RPD, Officer Brian Roussell and K9 Sarge were among twenty teams that competed in the American Kennel Club/United State Police Canine Association K9 Detection Dog Challenge.

The National Competition Will Be Televised on ESPN

This competition features some of the nation's top explosives and narcotics detection dog teams. Officer Roussell and Sarge competed in the explosives division, where teams had to find hidden explosive substances. The duo was scored on the accuracy of their search, the perfection of their alert (which means telling the handlers where the hide is), and the find itself (which is a combination of the ability of the dog and the handler to accurately tell judges where the hide is located.)

Officer Roussel and K9 Sarge - Photo from RPD
Officer Roussell and K9 Sarge - Photo from RPD

The competition was held in North Carolina earlier this month and will be televised on ESPN 2 on Sunday, November 28th at 9 p.m. So set a reminder so you can check out Officer Roussell and Sarge in action.

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The results of the challenge are top secret, so you'll have to tune in to see how it all went down.

The public is invited to meet the duo, get Sarge's pawtogrpah, and see a short demo. Visitors will also learn more about Animal Control's work in the community. The meet and greet is set for Tuesday, November 23rd from 4-6 pm at Rochester Pet & Country Store.

Rochester Pet & Country Store will be collecting donations for the Olmsted-Rochester K9 Foundation. Requested donations include KONG toys, chews/treats made in the USA, and cash.

Growing Up With A K9

My father was a K9 handler with the Rochester Police Department for many years. He only had one partner in his tenure, Bosco.

Bosco was a fantastic dog. He spent 7 years working with my dad and RPD. He was a tremendous partner and a wonderful dog at home. When he was at home, it really did feel like he was a pet, but I was often reminded that he wasn't a traditional pet. He had a job to do, and he loved doing it.

There were a few times where he and my dad would come to our elementary school and give a demonstration for the class. He could find anything. Kids would go and hide a piece of cloth/hide and Bosco could have it found in seconds. I was extremely proud to say 'Yeah, my dog did that". It was impressive. Just as seeing Officer Roussel and Sarge participate in a national competition is impressive. (More impressive, actually)

One time RPD was training in our school, hiding different materials for the dogs to find in different classrooms. They sent Bosco into what was a classroom that had nothing in it. A dummy classroom, if you will.

Bosco decided to stop at a random desk. My dad and other officers were confused because there was nothing hidden in that room. So, they checked the desk.

It just so happens that it was MY classroom and Bosco stopped at MY desk.

He picked up my scent after I was there 4 hours beforehand.

Pretty, incredible, right? My dad left me a note in the desk and the next day I was surprised to see a note from him, saying hello. I had many questions for him when I got home from school.

After Bosco retired, he spent his remaining years with us at home as a true pet. A ton of treats, belly rubs, sleeping on the furniture and on the bed. He loved his retirement years almost as much as he loved working.

Bosco passed the rainbow bridge in 2014 when I was in college. I couldn't think of a better dog to have growing up.

Bosco - photo from Luke Lonien/TSM
Bosco - photo from Luke Lonien/TSM

I have always been interested in K9 work, so much that I thought it would be a good idea if I got to experience what it was like being chased down by one of RPD's finest.

So, while I was interning with the Rochester Honkers Baseball Club I got a brilliant idea and was the 'bad guy' in a demo during a game. It was First Responders Night at Mayo Field, and well, let's just say K9 Duke did his job very, very well.

Congrats to Officer Roussell and K9 Sarge. I am excited to see how they performed in North Carolina.

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