The Minnetonka Police Department has a rich tradition of using K-9 partners in police work. K-9s are used for search and rescue, drug identification, tracking of criminal suspects, and crime prevention work.
The Minnetonka Police Department established its K-9 unit in 1976, with Jim Rasicot as the first K-9 handler. Since then, the Minnetonka Police Department has had 10 K-9 handlers and 15 dogs. Thirteen of the dogs have been German shepherds; the other two dogs were Belgian Malanois. German shepherds make excellent K-9s because they are generally easy to train, are bold and are loyal. It is believed that a good man-dog team can take the place of three to four officers on the street.
Officer Ryan Piper and K-9 Krieger recognized
Minnetonka Police Officer Ryan Piper and K-9 Krieger were recently recognized by the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) with a Unit Citation and Medallion for an August 2008 accomplishment. At the request of Plymouth police, Officer Piper and Krieger tracked an assault suspect for 30 minutes before locating him in a home several blocks away from the original location. Plymouth police were able to take the suspect into custody without incident due to the excellent work of Officer Piper and Krieger.