Canine (K-9) Special Unit
The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS) is the largest police Canine (K-9) unit in Kalamazoo county. Their services are utilized throughout the county and the unit is overseen by Sgt. Scott Sanderson.
Since the inception of the canine unit in 1987, the unit accounted for
2010 assists to other jurisdictions:
In May the entire K9 Unit attended the United States Police Canine Association Region 19 Police Dog 2 trials. These trials were a three day event involving tracking and narcotics detection certification. This also includes a competition involving the same tasks. The handlers are certified and judged by trainers from across the country. There were approximately 50 dogs and handlers at this event from the State of Michigan and Canada certifying and competing. At the end of this trial PSO Peter Hoyt and K9 Q finished first place in tracking and received the Rambo Award. The Rambo Award is given to the handler and K9 who won first place in tracking to signify the accomplishment and it is a plaque that is to be displayed at the department that the handler works for. This is the second time that PSO Hoyt has won this distinguished award as he also took first place in tracking in 2000 with his first K9, Billy.
In June PSO Jeff Deblecourt and K9 Rokko won the United States Police Canine Association Region 19 tracking award of the second quarter. This incident involved a suspect wanted on several arrest warrants. PSO Deblecourt ran a track with K9 Rokko that was over 10 blocks long. They ultimately tracked behind a residence and located the suspect who ran at K9 Rokko striking him in the head. The suspect attempted to flee over a fence but K9 Rokko had apprehended him and stopped him escape. The suspect continued to fight and assault K9 Rokko but was taken into custody. He was arrested for resisting arrest, assault on a police dog and on five arrest warrants.
The incidents that these officers win these awards for are then looked at along with all the other regions from across the country and a winner is selected for the quarter. PSO Deblecourt and K9 Rokko also won the national catch of the second quarter for this incident.
In June PSO Deblecourt's K9, Rokko was retired from duty after 5 years of service to this department. K9 Rokko began working for the City of Kalamazoo in May 2003. Since that time he responded to 966 calls for service and arrested 335 subjects. He has recovered $4,390 in property, forfeited $60,285 in drug money and recovered $33,420 in narcotics.
In July Sgt. Sanderson replaced K9 Rokko with K9 Jax, an 18 month old Belgian Malinois from Shallow Creek Kennels and he was assigned to PSO Deblecourt.
In September PSO Ted Green and K9 Gero won the United States Police Canine Association Region 19 narcotics catch of the third quarter. PSO Green and K9 Gero responded to assist the Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team with a residential narcotics search. At the conclusion of this search PSO Green and K9 Gero located 3oz. of powder cocaine, .85 grams of crack cocaine.
In December the entire K9 Unit volunteered there time to be a part of the 2010 Shop with a Cop Program. This was an event for under privileged kids. Meijer's Corp. gave each child $100 dollars and with the assistance of an officer they walked around the store purchasing gifts for Christmas. While officers assisted the kids with their shopping efforts other handlers walked around the store with their K9's socializing.
The canine unit has performed 80 public demonstrations with their canines throughout the year for local organizations and businesses. They have also participated in local parades and participated in fire prevention month, which entails completing demonstrations for various schools throughout the county of Kalamazoo.
The canine team is an integral and valuable asset to Public Safety and the community we serve.