Dowagiac purchases new K-9

Earlier this month, the leadership of the Dowagiac Police Department selected Tole, a 3-year-old German Shepard, to serve as the department’s new police dog. (Submitted photo)

Earlier this month, the leadership of the Dowagiac Police Department selected Tole, a 3-year-old German Shepard, to serve as the department’s new police dog. (Submitted photo)

Thanks to the generosity of Starks Funeral Homes, the Dowagiac Police Department recently recruited another German officer into its ranks.

A German Shepard officer, to be more precise.

Earlier this month, department leadership announced it had selected a new four-legged member to join the force, 3-year-old Tole (pronounced toe-lee). The canine will partner with officer Kevin Roman as the department’s new K-9 unit, with the two expected to begin helping safeguard Dowagiac’s streets beginning late July, said Director of Public Safety Steve Grinnewald.

Tole will replace the department’s previous K-9, Cessy, who retired last summer after 10 years of duty working with her handler, Sgt. Dave Davis.

At the time of Cessy’s retirement, Grinnewald was unsure as to whether or not the department would bring in another K-9 to replace her, as purchasing police dogs can be quite pricey, he said. After kicking around the idea, he decided to pursue it, he said.

“I thought we had a good program before,” he said. “It’s very popular in terms of public relations, as people just love seeing the dog. In terms of operations, there’s a need for it, in terms of tracking down missing people or detecting narcotics suspects may be hiding.”

In order to finance the purchase, Grinnewald reached out to Starks Funeral Homes owner Tom Starks, who had assisted the department with other projects in the past, the police chief said. Following their conservation, the business owner decided to pay for the entire program, Grinnewald said.

After selecting Roman to serve as handler for the new dog, department administrators worked with Blue Line Police K-9 to select the animal to serve alongside the Dowagiac officer. After seeing Roman in action with eight different dogs, the department decided to go with Tole, Grinnewald said.

Right now, Tole is working with trainers at Blue Line, who are developing his skills in tracking, narcotics detection and defense, Grinnewald said. Around the middle of June, Roman will begin a five-week training session alongside Tole, to prep the two to begin working in the field together later this summer, Grinnewald said.

“As they train together, they’ll begin to bond and get to know each other,” Grinnewald said.

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: Sept. 13-14

Berrien County

Local emergency departments experiencing high volumes, wait times

Berrien County

Residents demand Berrien County commissioners take action on mask mandate

Business

Cassopolis hosts Cass County Leadership Summit

Business

Owners of vintage farm tractors invited to Under the Harvest Moon

Business

Edwardsburg welcomes new construction business

Cassopolis

Cassopolis organization to host walk honoring National Suicide Prevention Month

Business

PHOTO STORY: A-Mazing Acres opens for season

Buchanan

Niles teen builds Eagle Scout project on McCoy Creek Trail

Business

New short-term rental property group to offer guests ‘curated’ Dowagiac experience

Cass County

Two women injured in La Grange Township crash

News

Niles hosts town hall between community, law enforcement

Berrien County

Berrien County Commissioners respond to mask mandate

Berrien County

Local talent development leader honored by Michigan Works! Association

Dowagiac

SMC attracts more than $4 million in grants

Business

Downtown Niles to welcome new dance studio

Berrien County

MEC accepting applications for Strengthening Schools Grant program

Dowagiac

Dowagiac City Council, Cass County Transit Authority renew Transit Operating Agreement

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 976,505 cases, 20,535 deaths

Breaking News

Dowagiac police arrest suspect in Monday hit and run crash

News

Niles City Council approves social district permits

Business

Niles muralist brightening downtown

Buchanan

Buchanan commissioners decline to pay annual dues to Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce

Berrien County

Man arrested after standoff in Niles