Sarasota police K9 team places first in state competition

A K9 team with the Sarasota Police Department took first place Saturday out of 19 teams in the inaugural Gulf Coast K9 Competition.

The competition, held at Sun Splash Family Waterpark in Cape Coral, is hosted by the Cape Coral Police Department and includes 19 different K9 teams from around the state.

Sarasota Police Officer Jake Nelson and his K9 partner, Bronson, won first place in the obstacle course section, which consisted of up and over maneuvers, jumping through tunnels, shooting simulations and taking on a balance beam for both officer and K9. Other sections included the hardest hitting dog competition and fastest dog competition.

“Officer Nelson and K9 Bronson are an excellent team. They train hard and work diligently to catch criminals and keep the City of Sarasota safe,” Sergeant Bruce King, supervisor of the department’s K9 unit, said in a release. “It’s nice when others get to see their bond and discipline get put to a test like the competition in Cape Coral this weekend.”

Other law enforcement agencies that participated included the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, North Port Police Department, Coral Gables Police Department and the Florida Highway Patrol.

All proceeds and donations from the event will benefit the Cape Coral Animal Shelter, Paw for Patriots Foundation, and Holidays for Heroes Foundation.

Samantha Putterman: 941-745-7027, @samputterman