ESCANABA - The mayor of Escanaba swore in a special member of the city's police force during Thursday's council meeting - a drug-sniffing dog named "Dag."
The two-year-old Belgian malinois is the fifth police dog to join Escanaba Public Safety since the first bomb-sniffing dog was hired in 2001, explained Sgt. Tim Moore, who is in charge of the department's K-9 unit. In addition to Dag, public safety also has a bomb-sniffing dog.
"They're trained to sniff out bombs or drugs and trained to track people and protect us," said Moore. "These dogs are all about safety for kids whether sniffing out bombs or drugs."
The dogs are used on police patrols including searches for items or missing persons or suspects, he added. Each dog lives with their handler.
Officer Dave Johnson is Dag's handler. Earlier this year, Johnson underwent six weeks of training with Dag at a police dog training facility in Denver, Ind. The new "officer" responds to commands in Dutch.
Public Safety Director Ken Vanderlinden thanked the individuals, organizations, and Hannahville 2 percent grant program for contributing funds to acquire the new drug-detecting dog. He also expressed the department's appreciation to council for supporting the city's K-9 program.
Officer Dave Johnson and Dag
Dag was officially sworn into service by Mayor Leo Evans during Thursday's council meeting.
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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143, email@example.com