St. Paul police dog demonstrations called off at State Fair

Pioneer Press reports it comes after a non-police showdog bit a child

Sloane Martin
August 29, 2018 - 4:43 am
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Those coming to the second half of the state fair won't be seeing St. Paul Police K9 demonstrations.

The Pioneer Press reports Mayor Melvin Carter asked police chief Todd Axtell to call them off in light of an ongoing audit of the K9 unit. The mayor called Axtell on Monday night, according to the report, after hearing a German Shepherd showdog, which was not a St. Paul police dog, bit a child at the fair.

Department spokesman Steve Linders said Axtell "respects the mayor's authority and did as he was instructed."

The review is underway after three instances in recent years of St. Paul police dogs biting and injuring people who were not suspects.

Linders said the demonstrations are a community outreach effort. The Pioneer Press reports up to 300 people attended the nightly exhibition.

Carter's press secretary, Liz Xiong, said the mayor looks forward to resuming the tradition next year, after the audit is complete.