New Dog on the Force

Officer Mike Bengtson gets a new K9 partner.

A dog is a constant companion, member of the family and sometimes your partner. Those familiar with such in-depth dog partnerships are police officers in Edina’s K9 unit.

“They’re like a hair on your head,” says officer Mike Bengtson. “The bond is very real, and you really can’t separate from them.”

Bengtson recently had to retire his K9 partner Ike, because Ike displayed signs of epilepsy. The German shepherd is now living at home with Bengtson, though it wasn’t the easiest transition.

“He would look upset whenever I left in squad car without him,” he says.

Bengtson would need a new partner, which he did get a short time later. He found another German shepherd named Gryf and brought him over from Poland. At a year and seven months, Gryf has no training whatsoever, so it’s back to the drawing board for Bengtson.

After three months of training, Gryf will be ready to be a police dog, but will receive even more training this fall to be fully prepared for his new role in Edina.