Police Hero

Canine Unit (K9)

The Fargo Police Department has three dogs assigned to its Canine unit. The use of police canines helps keep officers out of danger and can even reduce the chance of serious injury to suspects in certain situations. Sometimes offenders try to hide from officers in places where a canine is much more efficient in finding them. Some of these offenders are very dangerous and may be armed. The use of the canines helps reduce the danger for officers during apprehension efforts. The canines may also allow officers to avoid using higher levels of force, including deadly force, to take offenders into custody.

Canines on Duty

Fargo's Canine units are increasingly valuable in the battle against drug use. They are particularly helpful in locating easily concealed drugs, such as methamphetamine. Besides assisting narcotics officers, the canines are very effective in searching vehicles and schools, tracking suspects and performing a variety of other tasks.

Canine Training

The Canine officers and their partners receive their initial training out of state. The training consists of many weeks away from home learning to work with their new partners and learning the new tasks they will perform. They then have to receive yearly certification through the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) to to be eligible to work the streets. They also have to attend a multiple week narcotics certification course out of state as well. Nitro and Earl are certified and have their narcotics certification.

Canines in the Community

In addition to law enforcement duties, the canine units are very popular at public events, such as the Fargo Police Community Picnic, Boy Scout meetings, Neighborhood Block Parties and many other events. Introducing the police canines to the public is a great way to develop rapport, especially with children. In our growing city, the need for canine officers and their partners will only continue to increase.

If you would like the canine officer to attend an event, contact Lieutenant George Vinson at 701.476.4092.

K9 Falco


K9 Falco is a Belgian Malinois born on August 26, 2011 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Falco was bred as part of the Winnipeg Police Services breading program. Falco was purchased through Can Am Tactical K9 and paired with his handler, Officer David Cochran. Together, this team finished their patrol dog training in the fall of 2012.

You could say the Fargo Police canine unit is a close knit family. Falco is litter mates with Bali and is the nephew to Earl. This blood line has proven to be very successful. Falco is certified through the United States Police Canine Association and is trained in tracking, criminal apprehension, evidence recovery, and narcotic detection. Since working the street, Falco has made several “arrests” by tracking down suspects and locating narcotics that suspects have attempted to hide. Some of these arrests have been recognized by the United States Police Canine Association through certificates and medallions.

Officer Cochran and Falco currently work the night shift, though the team responds anywhere Falco is needed.

Falco is a high drive dog that constantly needs to be doing something. Falco goes home with Officer Cochran each day and on his down time goes for walks and runs. He also likes to climb the ladder and climbing wall on the swing set at home.