Officers & Their Canines
Pince & Wolf
The South St. Paul Police Department Canine Unit was founded in 1980 when Officer Kelly Pince and partner Wolf, a German Shepherd dog, began patrolling the streets.
After eight years of service, Wolf retired and canine Duke began patrolling the streets with Officer Pince. In 1985, Officer Kreager joined the unit and began patrolling with partner Max, a Rottweiler. Max retired in 1992.
For the next three years, the City of South St. Paul went without the service of a Canine Unit. Officer Sawyer and partner Bear, a black German Shepherd dog, graduated in the spring of 1995.
Officer Sawyer and Bear served from 1995 until the spring of 2002, when Officer Wicke and Rocky graduated from the training program. In the spring of 2009, Officer Wicke was promoted to Sergeant. Rocky was allowed to retire in style and spend time at home with Sergeant Wicke and his family. Many employees of the city miss being greeted by Rocky in his special way as they walk past Rocky’s squad car.
Officer Running attended the St. Paul Canine Training School with canine Tiger and graduated on May 27, 2009. Tiger was a black and grey German Shepherd dog. On May 29, 2010, Tiger was forced to retire due to a kidney issue after only one year of service. Tiger was a very friendly dog and enjoyed his many public demonstrations, safety camp appearance and meet and greets at the local schools. Tiger also assisted in the apprehension of many subjects that year.
On June 7, 2012, Officer Mike Running and Sammy graduated from Washington County Sheriff Canine Training School. Sammy is a black, grey, and tan German Shepherd dog born Jan. 15, 2011 in Slovakia.
During the course of their training program, Officer Running and Sammy were trained in the areas of obedience, searching for lost or missing persons, searching buildings, apprehending fleeing suspects, agility, and searching for discarded evidence. Sammy also completed his Narcotic Detection Certificate in May 2012. Sammy moved into retirement on September 8th, 2019.
On December 14th, 2019, Officer Brandon Rogers and K9 Axel graduated from training and began service to the City of South St. Paul. Axel was a black and tan Belgian Malinois.
During the course of their training program, Officer Rogers and Axel were trained in the areas of obedience, searching for lost or missing persons, searching buildings, apprehending fleeing suspects, agility, handler protection and searching for discarded evidence. Axel was also cross trained in narcotic detection.