Caledonia canine wins national title in police dog competition

Driving into Caledonia, you may notice a wild turkey on the sign welcoming you into town, but it’s a dog putting the city on the map.

“Couldn’t imagine doing our job without him.”

It was a fast friendship when K-9 Roman was assigned to Lieutenant Trace Erickson of the Houston County Sheriff’s Department.

“Right away we had a good connection. A bond. We spend so much time together.”

With the help of his training ball, roman will do anything Erickson says

Erickson doesn’t have to repeat himself when it’s time for Roman to go to work.

“He’s running and jumping to the car. He loves to go to work.”

It was only a few months on the job, when Roman played a key role in an assault on La Crescent Police in 2018.

“Roman was able to locate some firearms that had been removed from a vehicle after pursuit and hidden in a cornfield,” said Sheriff Mark Inglett.

“He’s just a tool that we bring with us,” added Erickson.

But unlike all of Lieutenant Erickson’s other tools, this one’s a winner.

Lieutenant Erickson has seen several different awards with many dogs, but he has never seen a national prize until now.

“We’re on top of the world.”

Roman beat K-9’s from all over the country, winning first prize in a national competition held by the United States Police Canine Association.

“To win that is a dream come true.”

Roman’s strongest performance was in taking down someone on the run. Something the County Sheriff knows too well.

“It hurts. He’s got a strong jaw.”

And while his bites are reserved for suspects, and the Sheriff, his heart is goes just to one person.

“I spend more time with this dog than my family. The loyalty he shows to me is unbelievable. This dog would lay down his life for me.”

So as Roman gets ready for another day at the office, Lieutenant Erickson knows he’s working with the best dog in the country, and his best friend.

“We’re pretty tight. He’s definitely my partner.”

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