Police dogs make good training use of empty Cottage Grove city buildingArea News
-- Cottage Grove’s former city hall building is proving valuable while vacant for at least one group: law enforcement.
By: Scott Wente - South Washington County Bulletin, Pierce County Herald
COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. -- Cottage Grove’s former city hall building is proving valuable while vacant for at least one group: law enforcement.
A few weeks after a SWAT team practiced in the building, police canine officers from surrounding cities and counties searched for hiding suspects and stashed narcotics in a recent training exercise.
Cottage Grove police canine handler Mike Vandervort, who helped to organize the training, said the building works well for their drills because it’s mostly empty and has an unusual floor plan with many small rooms and storage areas.
The building also is unfamiliar to most of the officers, which is good for training.
Training included officers from Cottage Grove, Washington County, Stillwater, Forest Lake and authorities from Hudson, Wis., and Pierce and St. Croix counties in Wisconsin.
They practiced three exercises: two suspect searches, one in the lower level and one in the former administrative area; and a drug search using seized methamphetamine and cocaine hidden in rooms that used to house the police department.
The building’s service as law enforcement training ground may be short-lived: the city hopes to open its Business Enterprise Center there this spring.