Three of Madison’s K9 teams won state awards at this year’s Wisconsin Law Enforcement Canine Handler Association’s conference, with five teams total receiving nominations.
Officer Teresa McKenzie and her canine partner, Josh, won the Meritorious K9 Narcotics Find of the Year after detecting a hidden box in the engine compartment of a vehicle during a traffic stop, according to a Madison Police Department statement Tuesday.
Police said that with Josh’s work, officers discovered illegal drugs in the vehicle which led to a search of the suspect’s home where a large amount of narcotics were recovered.
Officers Carren Corcoran and Rose Mansavage, along with their canines Slim and Falko, tracked suspects in two separate robbery cases that occurred on different days. The teams used articles from the scene to track the unknown suspects through areas with high volumes of pedestrian and vehicle traffic, each earning Meritorious K9 Track of the Year awards.
Other teams nominated for their outstanding service included Officer Jim Donnell and his K9 Krahnie for Meritorious K9 Track of the Year, as well as Officer Nick Eull and his K9 Frees for Rookie K9 Team of the Year.
Starting in the late 1980s, MPD officers engaged in trial uses of police K9s, however it was not until 2004 that the department formed an official K9 unit patrol. Today, Madison has a K9 unit comprised of six dogs, all trained in narcotic detection and patrol work.