July was a busy month for two officers from the Lower Sioux Police Department.

As a result of the efforts of Officer Adrianne Lamers and K9 Officer Cisco more than 145 grams of methamphetamine and a number of other drug-related items were removed from communities in the Redwood area.

Keeping the region safe is the primary focus of these two law enforcement partners. 

Lamers picked up Cisco from the trainer, McDonough K9, in March 2019 and then spent a two-week period to bond before they started 14 weeks of canine training. So in all, they have been working together for about a year and a half.

According to Lamers, ​the Lower Sioux Police Department has had several dogs over the years.

“The purpose of having a canine program has several reasons, not only are dogs incredibly useful for their ‘nosey’ abilities, they are great opportunities to interact in the community,” explained Lamers. “Cisco and I conduct directed patrols at the request of Jackpot Junction, meaning we do just a visible patrol, and when I bring Cisco in, I often here shouts of ‘Cisco’ from his fans both casino employees and visitors alike.”

Cisco is a purebred German Shepherd from the Czech Republic and was born Sept. 8, 2017.

Cisco and Lamers went through an intense 14-week course of training. Part of it was focused on the physical training for Lamers to keep up with an officer that has four legs instead of two, as well as familiarization with how both Cisco and she work together, reading each others body language, in order to be an effective team.

“We also underwent practical training in narcotics detection that included the imprinting and indication of located illegal substances. I also studied case law and Minnesota statute to ensure strong court cases,” added Lamers.

Lamers is a second generation K9 handler.

“My dad was a three time dog handler for over 20 years and it was during my teen years that I saw what he and his partner did, and it started a deep interest in the K9 and narcotics detection world,” Lamers explained. “Not only for the bond between human and animal, but the ability to work so effectively as a team to locate things that would otherwise escape human detection. I knew from when I first got started in volunteering in law enforcement as a police explorer that someday when I became a police officer that I wanted to be a handler.”

Currently Cisco is trained in narcotics detection with the intention of pursuing “tracking” skills later this year. So right now he is trained in locating several illicit drugs and will “hopefully” by the new year be able to add tracking skills, in order to locate missing children, or suspects who flee or try to hide from the police after committing a serious crime.

Lamers is the primary handler in the sense that Cisco comes to work with her and goes home with her at the end of the day, but they train with other Lower Sioux Police Department officers. So Cisco could be handled by another officer in an emergency.

Other LSPD officers also assist us in continued training by hiding training items, so they can frequently practice and maintain our skills.

“Cisco and I are always available for other agencies who need a police K9. Its a mutual agreement between agencies, so we can all be as effective as possible in removing dangerous items from the community as a whole. While our focus is our own community here at the Lower Sioux, we are available by request to assist others, including schools, businesses and other police agencies,” she added.

Aside from being the K9 handler, Lamers is also the community events coordinator which means she plans and puts together all of the police department hosted events like National Night Out, the vet clinic, etc.

“As a department we are always looking for new and positive ways to interact with our community, and this year we just became affiliated with the MNCPA, the Minnesota Crime Prevention Association in an effort to create more positive outreach opportunities and to improve our current programs,” indicated Lamers.

The best way to reach Lamers is by e-mail at alamers@lowersiouxpd.com.

“I think the best part is seeing Cisco be successful in whatever we are doing. It shows me that the bond we have and the training we’ve done has been effective to remove toxic and dangerous substances from our communities and the reach of our children,” added Lamers. “Cisco is personally my first partner, but I did a lot of work training with my dad as he worked with his partners. It started in my teenage years, taking bites from his dog to practice apprehensions or making a trail for the dog to track as if I were a missing child who wandered away. Now Cisco and I make regular stops back with our original trainer to make sure we are working at our best capabilities and improving our skills.”