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The University of Iowa Department of Public Safety added two K9 officers to its team this summer, bringing its K9 unit back to a full staff of three. 

K9s Hogan and Brad joined K9 Jago just in time for football season and a full calendar of university events.   

The new K9s and their handler officers met with the Press-Citizen Thursday on the UI campus. Excitedly chewing on toy balls and repeatedly dropping them, they occasionally spotted a squirrel or were brought to attention by their handler. 

After matching with K9 Hogan, officer Nate Monter recently finished training with the German shorthaired pointer at F.M. Kennels in Michigan. They started working together in early July. 

"It's something that's always interested me," said Monter. "The idea of learning this skill set and then applying it with a K9 partner." 

K9 Brad, a German shepherd, and officer Jerrad Mohling, completed training in early August at Shallow Creek Kennels in Pennsylvania. They've worked a handful of shifts so far. 

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"It's a once-in-a-lifetime career experience," said Mohling. 

K9 Brad is trained in explosive detection, apprehension and tracking, while Hogan is trained in explosive detection.

K9 Hogan is also trained to track humans but doesn't apprehend, which makes him valuable for looking for lost persons such as children or people with dementia. He's the only K9 in the surrounding area trained to track and sit, according to UI public safety public information officer Hayley Bruce. 

The handler officers described their partners as laid-back, but full of energy. K9 Hogan turned two in April and K9 Brad turns two in October, and both prefer playing with toy balls in their free time. 

Neither of the K9s has had to carry out searches or apprehensions in calls for service so far, but they did participate in the multi-agency training at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center last week. Before the training started, they swept the building for explosives. 

Monter said he hopes K9 Hogan puts in about 12 years of service, while Mohling said he hopes K9 Brad has between six to eight years of service ahead of him. 

Training and purchasing costs for the K9s totaled $13,500 for Brad and $8,875 for Hogan. 

They join a long line of K9s at the university, which has had a K9 program for more than 10 years.

K9 Jago started working with officer Jess Bernhard in January 2015. Jago worked alongside retired K9s Barry and Falo

Reach Hillary Ojeda at 319-339-7345, hojeda@press-citizen.com or follow her on Twitter at @hillarymojeda

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