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K9 narcotics training held in former bank building

Dogs alert on hidden narcotics

New Ulm Police Department K9 Dino and his handler officer Erik Byro do K9 training in the former Alliance Bank building on Minnesota St. N. Thursday. Dino and Byro begin the search for some contraband.

NEW ULM — Vehicles from local and area city and county law enforcement agencies parked outside the former Alliance Bank building at 322 Minnesota St. N. late Thursday afternoon and evening.

No cause for alarm.

The situation at hand was a K9 narcotics training drill.

New Ulm Police Department K9 Dino and his handler, Officer Erik Byro, were among the first group to do training. The drill called on the German Shepherd K9 dogs to find hidden narcotics including methamphatamine, cocaine and heroin in the former bank.

Law enforcement K9 units from the Windom Police Department plus the Watonwan and Jackson County Sheriff’s Departments were other agencies among the first to do training Thursday.

Dino sits to indicate he has sniffed out something suspicious.

K9 handlers included Comfrey native Louis Norell of the Windom Police Department.

“German Shepherds make great police dogs and they’re sociable,” said Norell.

German Shepherds are used as police dogs because of their high intelligence and they are considered loyal, even-tempered, committed, strong, and have good stamina.

They are also fit for law enforcement work such as patrolling, restraining people, tracking, detecting scents, and doing searches and rescues.

Officer Byro led Dino on a walk through the interior of the bank. Dino quickly alerted to drugs that were hidden in two floors. Dino sat t indicate when he found the hidden drugs.

Dino gets some time with his favorite chew toy as a reward for a job well done.

“German Shepherds have good problem-solving ability,” said Byro.

Last July, city and county law enforcement vehicles from the Brown, Lyon, Redwood and Renville (BLRR) County Emergency Response Unit (ERU) did monthly training in the former Alliance Bank in New Ulm.

The 17-member BLRR ERU includes medics, dispatchers, a negotiator and responders equipped with specialized weapons and tactical skills.

The unit trained on hostage rescue, building searches and tactics.

The unit is available to any Brown, Redwood, Renville or Lyon County law enforcement agency encountering a critical incident that exceeds their capabilities and standard police response.

Brown County Sheriff’s Deputy and BLRR ERU member Derek Shaw said the unit usually trains in abandoned farms, houses and businesses, doing scenario-based training and hostage negotiations.

Established in 1992, the ERU is used for high-risk search and arrest warrants, situations involving barricaded suspects, and other incidents where safety is critical and deployment happens on short notice such as active shooters and hostage scenarios.

The ERU is committed to providing the greatest degree of safe protection for all persons involved, including officers, victims and suspects.

At the same time it seeks a peaceful solution to each incident, while upholding and adhering to the highest standards for police conduct and professionalism.

Video of New Ulm Police Department K9 training including Dino and Byro can be found on a NUPD May 22, 2021 Facebook post.

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