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New SPD K-9 on the job

Superior Police Department’s K-9, Marik, soars through the air as his handler, Officer Nick Eastman, runs along side of him during the Operation K-9 event at AMSOIL in Superior on Thursday. Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com

Fresh from his first public demonstration, the Superior Police Department's new K9 officer is on job.

Superior Police Chief Nicholas Alexander said Lacka and his partner, Officer Jeff Harriman, are already working the street.

The department's young pup graduated with a patrol work certificate in May. He will receive ongoing training and drug certification while on the job.

"For SPD, the addition of a second dog essentially doubles our coverage of K9 patrol and makes it so that we have a K9 working nearly every day," Alexander said.

The department's other K9 team, Officer Nick Eastman and Marik, have been working together since 2014.

Having two dogs allows for greater K9 use on drug interdiction and search warrants, and enhances officer safety, Alexander said. It also reduces the department's reliance on other agencies when a K9 unit is unavailable or has a day off.

Both Lacka and Marik displayed some of their abilities at last week's Operation K9 event, which helped raise money for the AMSOIL Northland Law Enforcement K-9 Foundation.

"Both sets of bleachers were packed during the demos, and we had a large number of people standing on both sides of the bleachers," said Foundation President Robbin Champaigne. "Needless to say, we were very pleased with the support from the community. Operation K-9 continues to grow every year."

The foundation provided the bulk of the funding for Superior's new K9 unit, as well as a second K9 for the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

For more information about the foundation and K9 units it supports, visit www.northlandk9.org or the Northland K9 Foundation Facebook page.

The nonprofit foundation sells K9 merchandise and accepts donations through the site. Champaigne said one of the big sellers from last week's event, a calendar featuring all the local K9 dogs, will soon be available. The foundation's next fundraiser, "5K-9 Run for the Dogs," is set for Oct. 7.

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