Gladstone Public Safety to get K-9

GLADSTONE — Gladstone Public Safety was the only law enforcement agency in Delta County without a police dog. Over a year since the idea was first introduced, the movement to establish a K-9 program at Gladstone Public Safety has reached its fundraising goal, leading to the next phases of planning and implementation.

The K-9 will be utilized for drug searches/seizures, rescues, and school and public demonstrations within the community.

Gladstone Public Safety Officer Ryan Peterson, who spearheaded the efforts, proposed implementation of a K-9 unit, which was approved by the Gladstone City Commission in January 2018.

Since then, Peterson has raised the $60,000 needed to purchase the dog, the training, equipment and a specialized vehicle.

“It was PSO Peterson’s idea. He took it and he ran with it and he deserves a lot of credit. He’s the face of the K-9 program. He put in a lot of hard-work and dedication,” said GPSD Director Ron Robinson.

To begin the planning stage of the program, a committee was created. The committee is made up of Peterson, Robinson, Det./Sgt. Aaron Quinlan, Commissioner Darin Hunter, City Manager Darcy Long, and Tom Draze, who has over 10 years of K-9 experience with the Menominee County Sheriff’s Department.

Peterson said following the committee’s formation, the next step is buying the dog and other necessities to begin the program. He added he needs the final go ahead from the city commission to begin the next phase. The K-9 program is tentatively going to be an agenda item discussed at the July 8 commission meeting.

“The next step, I guess it’s unofficially official. I’ll be training and getting the dog in September,” he said.

Peterson and the Gladstone Public Safety Department’s first K-9 will train downstate at Northern Michigan K-9 in Harrison.

Peterson said the initial funding of $60,000 was the major hurdle, and he’s very thankful for the community’s support.

The fundraising efforts focused on community donations and grants. Grants are limited when starting up a K-9 program, however, once started more grants become available.

“The community has been excellent, they’ve been very supportive. I think they’re probably more anxious and excited than I am to get the dog here. Obviously their support is the paramount of everything,” Peterson said.

He added when it came to donating the biggest supporters were Josh King from K&M Industrial LLC., the Hannahville Indian Community, BayBank, Great Lakes First Federal Credit Union and Daryl Miron from Lakeview Assisted Living.

Peterson said Sue Gartland of Delta Animal Shelter helped guide him in different aspects of fundraising efforts, Rays Feed Mill donated the dog food for the life of the dog and other local businesses helped with different fundraising events and initiatives.

The department is still accepting donations for the long-term success of the K-9 program.

“We still are welcoming donations, so it’s not like just because we reached this threshold of the ($60,000) means that it’s all done. We still are welcoming for the long-term success,” Peterson said.

He explained with most departments locally a vehicle must be replaced at around 100,000 miles.

The continued donations towards the program would fund replacing the specialized vehicle and if any emergency might come up years down the road, Peterson said.

Interested individuals, businesses or organization can donate at the Gladstone Public Safety Department.