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Douglas County Sheriff's Office K9 and Handler Nationally Certified

Posted: 12/04/2019

Author: Julie Anderson

Category: County Sheriff Press Release, Departments

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The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is very fortunate to have two highly skilled K9 officers.  Both are regionally certified. Now, Ozzy, the veteran K9, is nationally certified. His handler is Deputy Bob Peper who recently attended, competed, and won in the National Field Trials in Florida. The trials are both competition and certification.

“We get lost in the competition part of it, but the bottom line is this is the opportunity to bring back a national certification,” says Deputy Peper. “This shows the community that Ozzy is very, very highly trained and held to a standard that many don’t get an opportunity to even try. I think it benefits the community because I can go into the courtroom and say my dog is certified at the highest possible level under the strictest standards.  Certification is really what it’s for. It’s a bonus to win first place as a team.”

Peper competed as a member of a team that included officers from the Winona and Houston County Sheriff’s office and the Austin Police Department. The team demonstrated skills in obedience, agility, evidence search, suspect search and apprehension with and without gunfire. There were two events a day and Peper says the scoring was tight.

“Leading up to the award ceremony none of us knew how it was going to turn out,” he says. “I’m proud of my teammates and Ozzy.”

Peper says winning first place in the team competition is the highlight of his career so far. He credits guidance from Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Wade Lerfald who competed, and won, for many years with his canine Vinny who’s now retired.

Sheriff Troy Wolbersen fully supported Peper and Ozzy competing at the national trials. "I’m very proud of them and our entire K-9 program”, says Sheriff Wolbersen. 

Peper and Ozzy routinely patrol the streets of Douglas County and handle a wide variety of calls to protect the public. “You can see a direct correlation as to how this certification training is beneficial,” says Peper. I need Ozzy to be very obedient on the street. It might be a very tense situation looking for a suspect. I need to know he’s going to find him and still be obedient to me. That’s how it affects the citizens in our community.”

Peper and Ozzy put on public demonstrations across Douglas County along with the newest team which is K9 Officer Hunter and his handler Ben Jarvi. Look for them at the county fair, safety day at the Runestone Community Center and various community events.






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