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St. Paul's K-9 unit has a grrrrip on national award

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The St. Paul Police Department took home the big prize at a competition among the nation's top K-9 units.

They were winners of the Top Department Team award at the event organized by the U.S Police Canine Association. And the head trainer, officer Jason Brodt, tells WCCO the award has special significance because the trophy is named after Tim Jones, a St. Paul police officer killed in the line of duty along with his four-legged partner, Laser, in 1994.

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The Pioneer Press reports St. Paul's team of five officer-canine pairs competed against their peers from 70 other departments at the field trials in Springfield, Illinois.

This is the eighth award for the St. Paul team, who came close to a perfect score, the Pioneer Press says, performing particularly well in obedience and in the scent competition, which involves sniffing out a hiding person.

The trophy's namesake, officer Tim Jones, responded with his partner Laser after a fellow St. Paul officer was shot to death on the city's east side on Aug. 26, 1994.

Both were ambushed by the suspect, who was then killed in a gunfight. Last year the Pioneer Press reported on a gathering to mark the 20th anniversary of the shootings.

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