Mike was born and raised in West St. Paul and grew up in the woods and fishing in northern Minnesota, Babbitt to be exact. Mike grew up with his two sisters, mom, dad, black lab named Dusty and a close extended family. After Mike graduated from Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights he went on to be a volunteer Police Reserve Officer for the City of West St. Paul Police Department and at the same time was a Community Service Officer for the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport Police Department.
When Mike turned 21 he moved to Kansas where he became a full-time law enforcement officer. It was at this time Mike realized his love for working with, training and being around the working dogs. Mike volunteered hundreds of hours to train with the K9 Unit and be a test dummy for the new dogs in training and experienced dogs. This was where Mike learned the operation of a K9 team and what it took to train not only an animal, and more importantly the handler, to help the K9 team be successful.
In 2009, Mike moved to Washington State to continue with his law enforcement career. Mike continued to volunteer his time to train with the K9 units and help the teams become more successful. With Mike showing his passion and donating almost 1,500 hours of training time he was awarded the position of K9 officer. Mike had already been a Field Training Officer for new police officers coming into the department. Training people and dogs were natural for Mike. Mike worked K9 Doc, K9 Dez and K9 Daric and all dogs specialized in criminal apprehension.
Mike was presented with a unique issue from K9 Dez. After 400 hours of training with K9 Dez, Mike noticed an issue and realized K9 Dez was not a fan of apprehension. K9 Dez was a great tracking dog, phenomenal personality, great partner and great with the public but Mike knew if he pushed K9 Dez there was potential of destroying a great dog. Mike made the decision to remove K9 Dez from the unit which was a tough one but K9 Dez was picked up by Soldier’s 6 and was given a chance at something great. K9 Dez is now a service dog for Mike’s brother-in-law; Ed Abrahamson, who is a retired police officer and decorated Army Veteran. K9 Dez is now the face of Soldiers 6. Mike went on to train, work, have a successful K9 career with his dogs. Mike was also active in training with the area K9 dogs and was awarded the status of Master K9 Handler by the Washington State Police Canine Association – one of only a few in King County (Seattle Metro).
Mike’s passion for K9 was seen on many different levels of the police department and community. Law Enforcement has changed in many different ways since Mike began his career. Mike enjoys talking with people, helping and trying to find the root problem. Mike took advantage of specialized training as a FBI trained Crisis Negotiator. Mike became one of the first law enforcement officers in the State of Washington become a Crisis Intervention Officer which morphed into joining the Hostage/Crisis Negation Team as well being a certified De-Escalation Trainer by Force Science. Mike also attended and graduated from the FBI Leadership Trilogy and graduated from the FBI SWAT/Hostage Negotiation academy. Mike’s knowledge of K9 and dealing with those in crisis is advanced and was useful during his K9 career. Mike utilized his K9’s to locate the suspects and though his dogs were trained to track and bite, Mike had a stellar record of getting most suspects to peacefully comply without the use of force by using his K9 and commutation skills. Mike has been very proud of his career from the time he started as a volunteer reserve officer, then police officer, then K9 officer and his final position of K9 sergeant.
Mike always said there was only one reason he would leave law enforcement and that would be to train dogs, which was a dream job. That dream was realized when KLN NutriSource based in Perham, MN offered Mike a position training service dogs at their facility. A lot of time and work has gone into this process and between KLN, Mike and Soldiers 6, we are on the verge of an opportunity to help struggling people on a level not seen. We have the facility, opportunity and people in all the right places to do some amazing work. This facility provides absolutely everything we need to train dogs, and more importantly, people. KLN is proud to partner with Soldiers 6 and help give back to the community and help Soldiers 6 provide quality service dogs for those who has served.
Mike has taken time to train personal dogs awarded to those who needed a service animal. The dogs Mike has trained have been for current and retired first responders, veterans as well as a service dog working in a hospital. Training for Mike is a natural way of life for him but in the same sense each dog and team he trains he continues to learn and grow.
My name is Jesse Soufflet, Owner of Core K9 Concepts, Minnesota’s premier Working Dog Consulting and Training Agency, providing first class Canine Training and Canine Equipment.
My journey began in 2009, when I entered the world of canine training, ranging from Police Service Dog and Ringsport Training, Apprehension Decoy Training, and your everyday family member pet.
I later began my career in Corrections/Law Enforcement in 2011 after obtaining my degree in Criminal Justice as well as several other Law Enforcement and Canine Certifications.
We encourage new and current recipients to contact us. Please stop by our website or Facebook page for any of your K9 needs.
Christopher Juvrud grew up in Coon Rapids, Minnesota and was always interested in flying.
He was a member of the Civil Air Patrol’s Cadet program until he graduated from Coon Rapids Senior High in 1991. Chris then entered the United States Air Force with hopes of pursuing a career as an Enlisted Aircrew Member. Those hopes were quickly dashed in basic training at Lackland AFB. The maximum allowable height at that time for aircrew was 6’5”, and Chris was 6’ 5 ¾. After a medical review for a waiver to the policy, the doctors said
Chris would continue to grow until he was 21. At this time Chris became a Security Specialist that would eventually lead to a career in the Military Working Dog (MWD) community.
After completing the Security Specialist Journeyman course, Chris attended the M60 Machine Gunner Course, and then to Fort Dix New Jersey for the Air Base Ground Defense Course. During the last week of training, unbeknown to Chris, he broke a small bone in his right hand. He never reported the injury to the cadre, and graduated the course and went on to his first assignment in the 435th Security Police Squadron, Rhein-Main AB, Frankfurt, Germany. After a month at station, Chris’ hand continued to bother him. He went to sick call, and found out the broken bone from a month earlier would require him to wear a cast up to his right shoulder for a month. After that it would be to his elbow for a month, and then possibly surgery.
Chris could not carry a firearm to perform his duties. He was moved to the kennels to work as Kennel Support This would be his first look at the MWD Career. The position was not glamorous in the least bit. Cleaning kennels and washing pans, but it did provide Chris the opportunity to participate as a decoy as well as learn all the ins and outs of the career. Chris was hooked. Unfortunately for him at the time, Security Specialists could not cross-train into K9 as it was only open to Law Enforcement Specialists.
In 1997, Chris was stationed at the 48th Security Police Squadron, at RAF Lakenheath, England. The Air Force decided to merge the Law Enforcement and Security Career fields together giving Chris the opportunity to finally cross train into K9.
In May 2001, Chris went to the 366th Security Forces Squadron, Mountain Home, Idaho and immediately to the 341st training Squadron, Lackland AFB, Texas, to begin the MWD handler course. Chris graduated the course as a Distinguished Graduate and returned to Mountain Home to meet his first K9 partner. In August 2001, Chris was paired with MWD Dan/Y140. Dan was a narcotic detection and patrol certified K9. As soon as Chris started his initial training, the events of September 11th would take control. Due to the 366th Wing’s role in the upcoming war on terror, the base security posture was at it’s highest level ever with every MWD handler on call for the next year. Handlers erected a tent city next to the kennels to live in while working 14 hours or longer shifts.
Chris eventually would go on temporary duty to El Paso, Texas to a Counter Narcotic mission with US Customs and Border Protection. During that 3-month mission, Chris and Dan were responsible for the seizure of 200,000 pounds of marijuana, 200 pounds of methamphetamine, 80 pounds or heroin, and 20 kilos of cocaine, as well as over $2 million in asset seizure.
Chris Finally moved to Dyess AFB, Texas for his final assignment. While stationed there, he completed the MWD Supervisor/Kennel Master course as a Distinguished Graduate, Deployed to Iraq as an Explosive Detection/Patrol Dog Handler, and then later to Kuwait as a Kennel Master. In 2010 Chris decided to submit his retirement paperwork. He retired honorably in November 2011 after 20 years of service.
Chris has deployed to Somalia, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia, Iraq, and Kuwait. He has been awarded 4 AF Commendation medals, 5 AF Achievement medals, 2 Armed Forces Expeditionary medals, Iraq Campaign medal, NATO medal, 2 AF Expeditionary medals, 2
National Defense medals, Global War on Terrorism medal, Armed Forces Service medal, and 2 Air and Space Campaign medals.
Shortly after his retirement Chris was hired by SOC-USA to be an Explosive detection contract working dog handler and then a trainer at the US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. After his contract in Iraq, Chris worked for American K9 as a Trainer/Kennel Master for the US Army in Afghanistan at forward operating bases Sharana, and Ghazni, as well as combat outpost Arian.
Chris finally had enough traveling and decided to move back to Minnesota, settling in as the Warehouse Supervisor at Kenny’s Candy and Confection. Chris continues to provide advice to anyone that has dog training questions.
Mark Madich recently retired after serving 25years on the Minneapolis Police Department. While at MPD he served in the Third Precinct as a patrol officer for many years as well as P3 CRT Team. Mark was a SWAT GAS Team Operator for over 8 years and also worked SOD Patrol. Mark also worked as a K9 Officer for the last 13 years of his career.
Bonnie Edwards served as an officer for Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) for 35years. During her career, she became the first female police sniper in the nation and spent 9 years on SWAT. Bonnie served in various assignments with MPD but the last 20years of her career she was assigned to her dream job... the K9 Unit. Bonnie was a handler for 3 dual purpose (Patrol and Detection) and also ran a bloodhound.
Bonnie retired in 2020 as a handler and assistant trainer. MPD is one of the few departments in the State of Minnesota certified as an official training grounds for the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA). Bonnie is also a regional judge for the USPCA.
Jeremy Halek grew up in the city of Brooklyn Park. He attended Osseo High School and later attended North Hennepin Community College and the University of Minnesota for Law Enforcement. Jeremy Halek worked as a Police Officer from 1995-2021. During his career he served in numerous rolls and retired as a Juvenile Detective. Officer Halek was assigned to the K9 Unit from 2001-2016. He worked his first K9, Nitro from 2001-2008. Nitro was certified in Patrol work and was also assigned to the Department SWAT team. Nitro received numerous awards through the United States Police Canine Association including four Patrol Case of the Quarter awards and the Top Patrol dog case of the year for 2006. Nitro was also a member of the 2nd place team in the USPCA National field trials in 2006. Officer Halek’s second partner Dingo worked for the Brooklyn Park Police Department from 2008-2016. Dingo was raised and trained by Officer Halek from the time he was 8 weeks old. Dingo was certified in Patrol and Narcotics and was also assigned to the SWAT team. K9 Dingo also received numerous awards including two Patrol Case of the Quarter awards. Dingo was a member of the Top Team in the USPCA at the National Field Trials in 2012. Dingo also took 2nd place in the USPCA National Detector Dog Competition in 2014. Officer Halek began training Police Dogs in 2006 and was a trainer for the Brooklyn Park Police Department. He is a partner and trainer with CanAmK9. Jeremy Halek is married and has a teenage son. His family rescues dogs for Ruff Start Rescue. He trains these dogs and finds them good homes. He also enjoys coaching High School Football and spends time in the winter in Mazatlan, Mexico where he enjoys time Deep Sea Fishing. He has a passion for being with dogs and truly believes they can be trained to do almost anything!
Tom Sweeny is married to his wife Liz (Retired Detective of 24 years) and have one child, Thomas. Tom grew up in Inver Grove Heights graduating from South Saint Paul High School. Tom went on to play college baseball at Normandale Comm. College and the University of Nebraska-Omaha where he earned a B.S. Degree in Criminal Justice.
After college, Tom joined the Seward Police Department (Nebraska) where he served for two years before relocating to Florida and joining the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.
Tom began working as a patrol deputy before transferring to the Street Gang Unit as an Investigator. Here is where Tom started the first narcotics detection canine program assigned to the Street Gang Unit with K9 Matsu. Tom and Matsu eventually transferred to the Highway Interdiction Unit where they were responsible for several large narcotics and currency seizures.
Tom retired K9 Matsu transferring to the Patrol K9 Unit where he was assigned his first patrol canine (K9 Boss). Tom and Boss earned several awards including Boss being awarded the agencies first Gallantry Star for a canine. Tom and Boss were assigned as one of the agencies SWAT canines. In 2013, Tom and Boss were awarded the Florida Law Enforcement Canine Association Patrol Canine of the year award for their work in a bank robbery case. Boss would later be retired after being diagnosed with cancer which ultimately took his life.
Tom was then assigned his third and final canine, K9 Rexo. Tom and Rexo were involved in several high risk deployments during their career and were also assigned as one of the agencies SWAT Canines. Tom and Rexo performed several EOD sweeps for presidents and dignitaries during their career. Tom and Rexo were also awarded several awards to include the Gallantry Star and the Meritorious Service Award. Tom retired K9 Rexo after promoting to Sergeant. K9 Rexo still lives with Tom where he has taken on his new role as a pheasant dog for Tom and his son.
While working in canine, Tom began training pet dogs assisting numerous families needing help with obedience to aggression issues. A lot of Tom’s focus was on helping families who thought they would have to re-home or euthanize their family member due to their behavioral problems. Tom worked with dogs of all ages and sizes while in Florida helping numerous families obtain a well socialized and obedient family member.
Tom and his family moved back to the Midwest after retiring from the Collier County Sheriff’s Office after 20 years. Tom currently is working as a Police Officer for the Woodbury Police Department. Tom is in the process of starting his canine training business (Trident Kennels, LLC) in Somerset, Wisconsin and will once again focus on obedience and behavioral issues involving family dogs.
Tom is looking forward to working with the Soldier’s 6 training program. Tom believes in the mission and knows there is a need for these highly trained canines to assist our military and first responder personnel.