New K-9 team certified
BY ALYSSA MEIER
"Track," Deputy Brad Nielson says to his partner as the timer starts.
Taz, a black shepherd at the end of the leash in Nielson’s hand, takes off with his nose to the ground.
The team has been training for three weeks to be certified as a K-9 team and it’s time to test out their tracking skills.
A scent trail was left in the grass by Patty Powell of Midwest Canine Alternatives, which was hired by the McLean County Sheriff’s Department to train the new team. Powell shuffled through the field, taking two 90-degree left turns before dropping a ball at the end of the trail.
Each team is then instructed to find and follow the trail.
"The trail starts between the two cones," Roy Engebretson, head trainer says.