Law enforcement officers are important members of communities throughout Minnesota. They offer assistance, guidance and security to individuals who are in situations of peril, as well as protecting individuals from the threats of others. While some law enforcement officers are in the field with other human partners, others work closely with dogs who perform specific duties.

Dogs that are enlisted in the K9 units of law enforcement offices require special training and handlers who can provide them with the guidance they need to be assets to their departments. According to a recent report, a 34-year-veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department recently filed a lawsuit against her office and supervisor, claiming that as a part of the K9 unit she experienced both age and sex discrimination.

The officer claimed that the work environment in which she was asked to operate was discriminatory, and that she was passed over for promotions that were given to male members of the department. She further alleges that actions taken by her supervisor required her to retake a 12-week training that she had almost completed, and that she was denied the opportunity to work with a bomb sniffing dog.

Her complaint further alleges that her supervisor, a sergeant in the department, stalked her while she was on-duty and that a no-contact order had to be issued to limit their contact. The female officer has filed her lawsuit under the Minnesota Human Rights Act and has alleged damages that total more than $50,000. Individuals who have suffered similar treatment may be inspired by this police officer’s story to seek justice for the treatment they have been subjected to while at work and to prevent the harassing treatment they have been forced to endure from continuing.