K9 Spotlight: Officer Brodt & K9 Gibbs

Jason Brodt & Gibbs

Head Trainer of the K-9 Unit for the St. Paul Police

National President of the United States Police K-9 Association

I’ve been a canine handler for 16 years. As the National President of the United States Police K-9 Association, I oversee the whole organization and make sure that the vice presidents run things and make sure that the committees are running smoothly. I’m involved in steering the organization the way that we see fit—staying modern and trying to be progressive. The primary mission of the organization is to certify police dogs, to set a legal standard—we are one of the organizations that is sanctioned by the US Supreme Court. We train dogs to our standards to afford agencies some protection, so that they can do their jobs better and more safely.

Dogs are first and foremost a locating tool. The primary reason we use them is for their nose. We use them to clear buildings, track lost children, find evidence, and do those things with their nose that humans can’t do. They are also a force multiplier, meaning that they dog will also bite, so they do the job of several human beings. Bad guys confronted with a dog who’s working are less likely to engage with that dog than if there were just a human being.

The bond between the handler and a K-9 officer is very, very important.
Gibbs and I have a very good bond. By being fair to the dog, kind to the dog—just like children, sometimes you need to be firm, sometimes you need to be compassionate, and you need to be able to balance all of those things. Being honest and fair makes a very, very good bond with the dog.

Melissa is the Managing Editor at Big Barker. She is best friend to Phoebe (pictured) and Finian, both rescued Chihuahua mixes.