Berkley Public Safety Department Officially Welcomes its Newest Officer K-9 "Bear"
Berkley, MI - July 20, 2021 - The Berkley Public Safety Department is proud to share that Officer K-9 Bear has passed the K-9 Academy and can begin working in an official capacity at the Department.
The launch of this new division will encompass; Officer K-9 Bear; Officer Brian Anderson, the K-9 handler; and Officer Dan Schewe, an experienced K-9 handler who served with his K-9 partner, Xander, for a total of nine years within three different departments and communities.
“We are beyond thrilled for the positive response to our K-9 program fundraising drive,” said Matt Koehn, Berkley Public Safety Chief and Director. “Our goal has always been to make this great program as cost-neutral as possible through fundraising.”
The Public Safety Department would like to thank all of the generous sponsors who helped make this initiative happen. In total, the Department was able to raise $65,338.11 which will cover the start-up costs of the program equating to over two years’ worth of expenses.
“While the larger donations quickly helped us to achieve our initial goal, we are amazed by the outpour of donations made by our residents and the local community. We even had a few families in the City hold lemonade stand fundraisers” said Cheif Koehn. “These donations from our local businesses and residents really touched our hearts… We have also been contacted by another citizen who has committed to donating a K-9 medical kit and ballistic vest for Bear.”
A special thank you and shoutout to our “Top Dog” and “Best of Show” Sponsors which includes:
- Mary P. Dolciani Halloran Foundation, non-profit organization ($25,000)
- The Blarney Stone, Berkley business ($7,000)
- Camelot Cleaners, Berkley business ($7,000)
- Certified Restoration Drycleaning Network, Berkley business ($5,000)
- John & Kirstin Dumas, supporters of the Berkley Public Safety Department and the K-9 Unit ($5,000)
What the Program Provides
- Track missing people – we want all residents to be safe and find them if they are lost.
- Track illegal substances – drug abuse is on the rise, exacerbated by the pandemic.
- Locate evidence and suspects – items that are stolen or left behind as part of a crime scene, building searches.
- Build bonds with the community – we especially seek to form connections with children and teens through a presence in the schools. A trained officer and a dog speaking to a room of students initiate a conversation around the perils of drug and alcohol abuse. Relationships are formed between students and the officer, which makes it far more likely for students to reach out for help.
- Partnership with local communities – K-9 units have a reciprocal partnership relationship with surrounding communities.
Interested in donating?
K-9 units are typically funded entirely by donations from the community. Those still interested in helping our K-9 program can contact Public Safety Lieutenant Jordan Kobernick at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 248-658-3387.
To learn more about K-9 Program, visit www.berkleymich.org/k9program.