WAITE PARK -- There is a new top dog with the Waite Park police department.

Bosco, the departments new police dog, has been on the team for about two weeks after completing a 15 week training course earlier this spring.

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Andrew Lehmkuhl is Bosco's handler and says while he's had dogs before, this is a little different.

Most people that own a dog are mainly focused on doing obedience training. With Bosco I have to also teach him to search, respond and return on command, in addition to his other police duties.

Lehmkuhl says in Bosco's short time with the department he has already helped out in suspect tracking and drug and building searches.

In addition to patrolling Waite Park, Bosco will also be on call to assist the other St. Cloud metro cities and the Stearns County Sheriff's Office if needed.

Lehmkuhl says it's been great to have the program back up and running.

It's community support that got us here. It's the community I want to know that we have this asset that will help find violent criminals and the drugs causing a havoc within our city and across central Minnesota. It's very important to have an addition like Bosco.

Lehmkuhl says when they are not patrolling the streets, they are continuously working on training to make sure they both stay sharp on their skill.

Bosco is the first police dog for the department since 2019, after Waite Park put a pause in their K-9 program due to staffing shortages and budget constraints and donated their old police dog Parker to St. Cloud.

Waite Park Police Dog Bosco