K9 Unit member Raji places first in certification trials

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO The Marshalltown Police Department K9 Unit of Lt. Kiel Stevenson and Raji and Sgt. Tom Watson and Jordy attended the Iowa Patrol Dog Certification. Both dogs were high finishers and are certified for another year. Raji sits at attention with his trophies from the event including the first place overall trophy.


Recently, the Marshalltown Police Department K9 Unit attended the United States Police Canine Associations annual Iowa Patrol Dog Certification. The certification was held in Ida Grove.

This certification tests the police dog in several skills to include:

• Obedience- The K9 must be able to demonstrate that he can obey the commands of his handler off lead to include heeling and control from a distance. They must obey hand signals as well.

• Agility – Police K9’s must be able to show their ability to jump over things and crawl under things, as well as climbing an 8 foot ladder.

• Human Scent detection – this includes testing in locating a human who is hidden as well as locating small items that would have human scent on them (like screwdrivers and credit cards) that are thrown into a grassy area.

• Criminal Apprehension – The K9 must be controlled and well trained to obey the commands given by their handler to apprehend a running “decoy.” He must hold the decoy and then release immediately on command. He must also protect the handler.

Lt. Kiel Stevenson and K9 Raji, along with Sgt. Tom Watson and K9 Jordy attended this certification event. The Marshalltown K9 units did very well with both dogs scoring high in all events. The department announces that Lt. Stevenson and K9 Raji placed first overall, out of 32 dogs. Watson and Jordy joined Stevenson and Raji to earn a second place team award as well.

The testing is held annually and all Marshalltown Police K9s are required to maintain certification. The MPD is proud of both handlers and their partners and appreciate the professionalism and skill that both teams displayed.