Officer of the law, officer of the paw

Killdeer cop enjoys partnership with her  friend

Killdeer police officer Mackenzie Spack loves to watch her partner work.

Her partner has the knack for sniffing things out.

Like drugs.

Spack’s partner is Able, a 4-year-old German Shepherd. And together, they make up the department’s Canine Unit.

“She’s definitely my partner. I don’t do anything without her,” Spack said, as she patted her dog on the head.

Able wagged her tail and seemed to smile.

Spack purchased Able in 2015, just before she joined the Killdeer police force. They were certified in 2016 through the National Police Canine Association.

Together, they train 16 hours or more a month, Spack said.

“They always say it’s the handler and not the dog who needs the training,” Spack said with a smile.

Able is trained to sniff out marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. She’s also trained to sniff for weapons.

“She’s good for the community because she’s a deterrent,” said Killdeer Police Chief Eric Braathen.

Having a canine unit is an amazing tool to have at your disposal, Braathen said, because it saves time. He said if a unit is needed, authorities have 45 minutes to conduct the search. In the past, the department had to contact the police department in Dickinson.

And make no mistake about it, Able is able. She’s done room searches in hotels, in vehicles and in homes. During a recent stop of a tractor-trailer, she had a hit on a handgun that was reported stolen. She also sniffed out marijuana seeds in a search of a hotel room.

“She loves to work,” Spack said.

And she likes to play. She’ll roughhouse with Spack. She plays fetch. And she loves to play tug-of-war.

Her favorite toy is a ball with a rope attached to it. And she dares anybody to grab the rope end. When Spack or anybody takes the challenge – it’s on.

Able is more than a partner to Spack. She’s a friend.

And she’s an avenue for Spack to help fight drug use in Dunn County. That fight has a special meaning for Spack.

She has witnessed firsthand how drugs can destroy a life. Her mother died of a drug overdose.

“It’s important to me to get those drugs off the street,” Spack said.

And together, they’re working on it …. one sniff at a time.   


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