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 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.
Soldier's 6 is proud to announce we are now partnering with Minnesota Canine Consulting (MCC) for all of our K-9 training needs!
Minnesota Canine Consulting is based in Eagan, MN and is owned and operated by Andy Helgerson. Andy has been handling/training dogs since 2004 and holds several degrees and accreditation's in related fields. Soldier's 6 is extremely excited to see what this partnership to our organization and our future Solider Recipients.
Please visit MCC's Website to learn more about the wonderful work they do and see all the services they offer. While there you can also see several videos that are posted of Soldier's 6's dogs they currently have in training.
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.