- Associated Press - Saturday, August 13, 2016

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - During the day, Fort Dodge Police Officer Paul Samuelson patrols the streets of Fort Dodge helping to keep the citizens of the community safe.

But at night, Samuelson works at his other job as a police dog trainer.

Since 2005, Samuelson has owned North Iowa K-9, where he trains dogs for police departments not only across Iowa, but the country as well, The Messenger (https://bit.ly/2b1BYB9 ) reports.

“I’ve trained probably 125 police dogs since 2005, so I stay pretty busy with that,” Samuelson said. “It’s just a passion that I have.”

He’s had a lifelong interest in animals, particularly dogs.

“As I was going to college, I took an internship that was with a guy that had a canine,” he said. “And when I was in college I just decided that someday I’d like to have a dog. It just kind of grew since then.”

Among the dogs that Samuelson has trained include Swamper, the dog from the Webster County Sheriff’s Department, and Abram, the new dog from the Fort Dodge Police Department.

Samuelson said more dogs will be joining the Police Department in the future.

“At the end of the month, we’re getting a Hanoverian hound,” he said. “It’s like a bloodhound and all she’ll do is track.”

The dog, named Hyde, will be a good fit for the department, according to Samuelson.

“She should be pretty good at (tracking),” he said.

Samuelson is also responsible for training all the department’s dogs, which he said hopefully will include a third one early next year.

“It’ll be another dual-purpose dog like Abram,” he said. “So we’ll have a total of three dogs for our department.”

Right now, Samuelson said the department is raising money to purchase that dog.

He described working with police dogs as his favorite assignment as a police officer.

“You’re assigned other units like maybe a detective, or cybercrimes, or a traffic unit or a canine unit or a sex crimes unit,” Samuelson said. “As far as the police department and the different roles we play, yeah, the canine unit is what I prefer.”

But as far as his overall job, Samuelson said he got into law enforcement because he wanted to help people.

And though Samuelson only recently joined the Fort Dodge Police Department in October 2015, he’s actually been in law enforcement for more than 20 years, starting in 1995.

“Before (Fort Dodge) I was in Aurelia for two years,” he said, “and then I was in Manchester for a year.”

Prior to that, he spent 10 years with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department and also served on the Storm Lake Police Department.

He started his law enforcement career as a police officer in both Callender and Otho.

Samuelson added he has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh and has continued his education throughout his professional life through various training schools.

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Information from: The Messenger, https://www.messengernews.net

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