ROCHESTER, Minn. — With all of the gear and full-coverage uniforms law enforcement wear, it's no surprise that trying to stay cool in the July heat and humidity is a concern.
Rochester police officer Terry Pretzloff tells KIMT he has a variety of strategies to prevent overheating and dehydration: drinking lots of water, staying in his car's air conditioning as much as possible, and finding shade when he's outside.
It's not just himself he has to worry about. Officer Pretzloff's explosive detection dog, Riley, is a 3 year old British Labrador. When he's on duty with Pretzloff, they both need to stay safe in the sun.
"I know him well enough that I start realizing when he's really warm and when he needs to get out of the heat, so it's just important to not only take care of myself, but take care of him as well," explains Officer Pretzloff.
Pretzloff can control the temperature in Riley's kennel in the police car. If it gets too hot, a guage will warn Pretzloff and emergency features—rolling down the window and turning on a fan— will kick in if necessary. Riley always has access to water in the car.
Officer Pretzloff does what he can to help protect himself and his K9 from heat exhaustion. "I've never experienced that while working and I hope I never do," he says.
An Olmsted County Deputy suffered from heat exhaustion on Wednesday while in pursuit with his K9. He was treated at the hospital and released.
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