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'The Best Of The Best': Federal K-9 Units Report To Super Bowl

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Federal K-9 teams from across the country are in Minneapolis, adding support ahead of the Big Game. About a hundred teams are here to sweep buildings for explosives and to check unattended bags. Officials say these specialized teams are critical to public safety.

"They only bring the best of the best to Super Bowl," said Officer Dave Capretto with Transit Authority Police out of Buffalo, New York.

And Capretto calls his K-9 partner King, the best.

"King is an explosive detection dog. He might not look like he is working right now but he is working. As long as he's breathing he's working," Capretto said.

k9 unit super bowl security
(credit: CBS)

Their job during Super Bowl week is to walk the Super Bowl Experience at the Minneapolis Convention Center to the end of Super Bowl LIVE along Nicollet Mall. In the skyway and outside.

"The dog can easily walk in crowds. When people approach King they see King, they just see him being loveable they don't understand, he's smelling their bags their person, the air around him. He's vigilant all the time," Capretto said.

The team is part of the Counter Terrorism Unit. And they keep big events moving if a suspicious package needs checking.

"If we didn't have dogs we'd have to stop, clear the area have the explosive detection team come in, examine the bag, then continue on," Capretto said.

King has swept for celebs and for Presidents and Vice Presidents. He often captures the attention of people who spot him. He's so popular he has his own Instagram account. But his job is as serious as it comes.

"If King misses something people get hurt or worse, killed. That's why so much faith has to be put in from my perspective to that dog. I trust him with my life," Capretto said.

Capretto said King is 100 percent, 100 percent of the time. While they are mostly along Nicollet Mall, the team will do a sweep of U.S. Bank Stadium later this week ahead of the big game.

The Super Bowl is the last major event for the team, as they'll retire in June.

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