Michigan State Police (MSP) Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue is pleased to announce that Michigan citizens will soon benefit from the services of 12 canine teams, including eight new teams and four replacement teams, who graduated from the MSP 2013 Basic Canine School.
This graduating class brings the total number of MSP canine teams to 49, which is an historic high for the department. The MSP Canine Unit responds to approximately 5,600 calls annually making it one of the largest and busiest in the country.
The Basic Canine School is a 14-week intense training program conducted in-house by veteran MSP Canine Unit members. The handlers and their canines covered more than 100 miles on foot during the training, which covered subjects including tracking, narcotics detection, building search, area search, property search, obedience and aggression. Additionally, the handlers received more than 100 hours of classroom instruction.
These teams will join other Canine Unit team members who are strategically placed throughout the state for calls for service. The unit also provides services in explosive detection, accelerant detection, cadaver detection and the tactical entry dog program, which provides services to the MSP Emergency Support Team.
The MSP Canine Unit was established in 1960. All of the unit’s canines are German shepherds due to the breed’s ability to handle the various functions and stress with intelligent problem-solving abilities and a high work drive. The MSP’s canines retire to their handler or another loving person’s home after working eight years.
A replacement team is where a veteran handler trains with a new partner to replace a retiring canine. The four recently retired canines reside with their handlers.
The last Basic Canine School graduation was in August 2012 when five new teams graduated.
The graduates include:
Basic Canine School Graduates
Tpr. Bryon Bierema, Hank, Fifth District Headquarters
Tpr. Ben Bordner, Smoke, Eighth District Headquarters
Tpr. Kyle Kelley, Bach, Seventh District Headquarters;
Tpr. Denis McGuckin, Jax, Tri-City Post
Tpr. Jereme Miller, Dakota, Coldwater Post
Tpr. Nolan Przybylo, Hondo, Metro Post
Tpr. Michael Sinke, Murph, Fifth District Headquarters
Tpr. Benjamin Sonstrom, Otto, Second District Headquarters
Replacement Canine School Graduates
Tpr. Michael Bush, Shep, Rockford Post
Tpr. Kris Mikowski, Ammo, Cadillac Post
Tpr. Joel Service, Pitch, Niles Post
Tpr. John Sholtz, Enzo, Lapeer Post