Officer Sarah Boespflug remembers the exact date she and her first canine partner, Falko, were paired – it was January 2nd, 2017, ten years into Sarah's career with Madison PD. The duo hit it off immediately: "I think that dog laughed more than he was ever serious" Sarah reflects. She describes the now-retired Falko as a goofball, who kept Sarah's passion for the work alive. "I wouldn't be a cop anymore if it weren't for Falko." Officer Boespflug is in her fourth year with MPD's canine unit, and is now paired with an 18-month-old Malinois named Roko (pictured above). The partners recently completed 6 weeks of initial, intensive training at Shallow Creek Kennels in Pennsylvania.
Sarah came to MPD in 2007, with a bachelor's degree in social welfare and work experience in child protection. After Academy graduation, she worked as an overnight patrol officer on Madison's north and east sides, then competed for and attained the Northport-Packers Neighborhood Officer position. Officer Boespflug's work in the north district led to crossing paths with now-retired K9 Officer Jeff Felt and his partner Gildon. "I owe Jeff for my interest in K9" Sarah says. Sarah began laying tracks for Gildon, a training exercise that keeps both canine and handler's skills fresh. And as she helped with Gildon's training, Officer Boespflug was attracted to the challenge of being a canine handler and the mental and physical shape it requires.
Officer Boespflug's passion for her work shines brightly, as she outlines the day-to-day work she and Roko are called to do. They track criminal suspects, look for missing kids and walk-away memory care patients, do community demonstrations (in non-pandemic times), and stop by children's birthday parties. Sarah adds that the dogs have much to teach us. Falko's legacy to her? "Be fair, be kind, and be just. Be you and everything else will fall into place."