CHISAGO COUNTY, Minn. (WCCO) — If you love your job, you’ll never a work a day in your life. It’s a phrase K9 Stryker might say if he could understand them.
“He’s just having fun time,” Chisago County Sheriff’s Deputy Chad Stenson said. He’s the handler and partner of the 3-year-old German Shepherd.
The duo of nearly three years got a call on New Year’s Eve from the Wyoming Police Department. The officers were needing help tracking down William Williams, a guy with a lengthy rap sheet, wanted on felony parole violation. He was last seen near Fairview Lakes Medical Center before running away.
“We were able to pick up a track fairly quickly from the hospital area,” Stenson said, crediting WPD with maintaining the scene.
Because there was fresh snow on the ground, it made footprints easy to see, but the search started around 6 p.m. — when it was already dark outside. It was all the more reason a K9’s nose was needed.
“We train for situations like this so we were prepared for the challenge,” Stenson said.
The search zigzagged through town, between yards and across streets. It totaled roughly four miles over nearly three hours. The wind-chill outside was below zero.
Stenson said, “The only thing that Williams really left behind was a few foot prints here and there.”
And his scent, which led them to the front door of a house on Friesdale Avenue. Stenson said there were no footprints leaving the home, just going toward the door. Williams was hiding inside.
Police got their man. Stryker got a cheeseburger.
“[Stryker] did a good job so he earned it,” Stenson said.
At the Sheriff’s Office, a display case is filled with medals and awards for Stryker’s successful tracks. He might have just earned another one for his work on the final night of 2018.
“We put in a ton of training time with a ton of great people, ton of great mentors and trainers. So having the success, it’s a good feeling,” Stenson said.