January 22, 2020

Ogemaw County to get K-9 Patrol

Posted

OGEMAW COUNTY — Ogemaw County will be getting a K-9 patrol unit thanks to the hard work and dedication of the sheriff’s department and in partnership with the Saginaw Valley Police Canine Association.

During its Dec. 26 meeting, the Board of Commissioners approved up to $50,000 dollars out of the Commissary Fund for the purchase and equipping of a vehicle for the K-9 unit. Any additional funding needed will come through a variety of fundraisers. 

“What we will do is work with the county,” Jody Wilk, President of the Saginaw Valley Police Canine Association explained to the board. “We will get some volunteers and do a variety of fundraising events to maintain the program. The dog will be donated to the county. Normally, that dog would cost about $12,500 but that will be completely donated.”

The vehicle will need to be equipped with an insert for the dog to ride safely as well as a heat alarm, which would detect if the inside of the vehicle is too warm for the dog’s well-being. The vehicle will also be equipped with a door popper to pop open the door and release the dog, if necessary. The handler will carry a door fob to activate the door popper. 

“I’ve seen multiple stories where having that door popper has saved the officer’s life,” Wilk said. 

The K-9 dog will be trained to detect narcotics such as meth, ecstasy, heroin and cocaine as well as tracking, handler protection, article searches and missing child searches. 

The K-9 dog will be assigned to handler Deputy Justin Noffsinger and together they will be a full-time patrol unit. The program will begin fundraising in the early months of 2020 and the K-9 unit is expected to go on duty in the Fall of 2020. 

In other business, the board signed a resolution to support the Stepping Up initiative which focuses on trying to divert people with mental illness from jail and into treatment. The program is paid for by grants through several state departments and there is no cost to the county. 

The board also approved sending the interim county administrator’s contract to the law office of Foley and Mansfield to have Greg Meihn review it. Upon Meihn’s written approval of the contract, the commissioners will accept the contract.

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