K-9 Unit

Police K-9 units are a valuable tool for the Marshalltown Police Department (MPD). K-9s are used for the detection and prevention of crime as well as the detection of illegal narcotics. Our community has supported this program through donations since 1981, and we are proud of the work that these four-legged crime fighters have provided. 


Our dogs are trained in the skills of human scent detection, evidence detection, illegal narcotic detection, obedience, and agility.

Human Scent Detection

Police dogs are trained to locate and follow human scent. This allows our dogs to follow the footprints of a fleeing person or a person who may be lost if the situation allows. The dogs are also able to use their noses to locate human scent of a person that may be hiding outside or in a building, like during a burglary.

K9 Training

Evidence Detection

Our dogs can locate evidence that has human scent on it. An example would be a gun used in a crime, as the suspect handles the gun, they leave a human scent behind on it. When the suspect discards the gun, the K-9 can be used to locate the gun regardless of how well it may be hidden by smelling the human scent on the gun.

Jordy 3

Illegal Narcotic detection

Police dogs are training to locate the odor of illegal narcotics. This includes marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin. Using their nose, a dog can locate the illegal substances that are hidden in vehicles or around a residence. Taking drugs off the street is the bread and butter of what our dogs do.

K9 Raji alert


The MPD K-9 units have to be able to show extreme obedience, even under the toughest conditions. The dogs must obey all hand signals and voice commands given by their handler, even during stressful situations.

K9 Raji

Agility Training

Part of their work includes having the ability to surmount obstacles that may be present when working the street. Both dogs are routinely found practicing this skill by climbing ladders, crawling under cars, jumping over fences, etc.

More Information

For information on a K-9 demonstration, please contact Sergeant Melinda Ruopp, Program Supervisor, at 641-754-5725 or email Melinda Ruopp.


Program donations may be made out to the Marshalltown Police Department, noting “K-9 fund” in the memo and mailed or dropped off at 22 North Center Street, Marshalltown, IA 50158. All donations are tax deductible. Thank you for your community support!