The canine unit was among the competitors at the U.S. Police Canine Association National K-9 Trials last week in Lakeland, Fla. Earning top honors in the overall "Department Team" category marked the first time the sheriff's office has finished first in the nation, the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press reported Thursday.
"It's like winning the Super Bowl in the dog world," said Deputy Bruce Jerome, head trainer of the canine unit. "I still can't believe it."
Last year, the sheriff's office finished fifth.
Teams were judged in five primary events: agility, obedience, suspect search, evidence search and recovery, and criminal apprehension.
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