History

In July 1972, Officer Doug Madsen approached Chief Bennett about starting a canine program in Edina. Madsen pitched the idea and Chief Bennett liked it. Madsen volunteered to be the first Canine Handler for the department and began work with a 20-month-old German Shepherd Dog named Jet. Jet was donated by a Bloomington family.

Madsen and Jet at work
Madsen and Jet at work
Madsen and Jet
Madsen and Jet

Madsen and Jet spent three months training at the Minneapolis Police Department Canine Training Center, and then hit the street running. Jet was trained as a patrol dog learning basic obedience, agility, broad jumping, tracking, open area searching and building searches. Madsen said “He’s a big asset because he not only finds suspects, but he can tell us if they’re gone out of the area,” according to an interview with the Edina Sun newspaper.

The two worked the streets of Edina until 1973 when Madsen took a job with the Minneapolis Police Department and Jet followed.

In December 1974, Jet was the first police canine killed in the line of duty in Minnesota. While searching a building for a burglary suspect, Jet moved to the rooftop. Apparently, Jet heard voices in the parking lot below and hopped over a two-foot wall to investigate. Unaware that the other side of the wall was not an extension, Jet fell four floors to his death.

Madsen worked with five dogs during his career until retiring in 1999, Jet being his first.

It wasn’t until late 2001 when Officer Kevin Rofidal, whose K-9, Kodiak, retired March 2010, brought up the idea of starting a K-9 program to then-Police Chief Mike Siitari. With a clear understanding that the community could benefit from a K-9 program, Siitari signed the program into action.

Behr and Blade joined Officer Mike Seeger and Diesel in the Edina K-9 program in June 2010. Today, the K-9 program is especially strong with help of the Edina Crime Prevention Fund, Edina Federated Women’s Club and other donors in the community, such as Dow Water & Process Solutions whose donation covered the purchase of Blade. 

Retired K-9 Kodiak

Officer Kevin Rofidal and Kodiak

Kodiak joined the Edina Police Department in 2002, teaming up with his handler, Officer Kevin Rofidal. Learn more...

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