The Blaine Police Department K9 Program is a vital link in providing effective and safe service to the Blaine community. The program started in the 1970s with only one K9 (Shiloh) and Officer Maurice Plowman, then revitalized in 2008 with Officer Greg Rowe and his K9 partner, Gunner. Today, the Blaine K9 Unit consists of three dual-purpose canines (narcotic detection and patrol) and one single-purpose canine (narcotics detection). The single-purpose unit is assigned to the Anoka-Hennepin Drug Task Force.
They are all unique and essential parts of the BPD law enforcement effort. The mission of the K9 detail is to assist field operations by utilizing K9’s when their special skills and qualities would make an incident safer or more efficient. Because dogs have such a superior sense of smell, a K9’s primary role in law enforcement is as a searching tool. When officers need help locating a suspect, narcotics, evidence, firearms, or even explosives they will use a K-9.
In 2021 The Blaine K9 Unit was responsible for 27 felony arrests. The unit recovered 2.6 pounds of methamphetamine, 569 Xanax pills, a handgun, and $7,700.
These well-trained animals are capable of apprehending the most dangerous felons, but they also have a gentler side. The handlers and their dogs often put on K9 demonstrations for local schools, daycare centers, and other groups. In 2021 BPD put on 16 demonstrations for 277 adults and 359 children. The dogs interact with children and show off their obedience skills. When not at work, all K9’s live with their respective handlers and become part of the family.
Nearly all the dogs in the history BPD program have been donated thanks to the generosity of civic groups, local business owners, and individuals who realize the importance of this special program. The Police Department is grateful for the support and strives to ensure that the K9 detail will fulfill its commitment in a way that serves the entire community.