Michigan State Police Adds 12 New Canine Teams; Largest Class of New Teams in MSP History

Contact: Sgt. Dave Yount, MSP Canine Unit, 517-322-5810

June 30, 2017

The Michigan State Police (MSP) is pleased to announce that Michigan citizens will soon benefit from the services of 12 new canine teams, as well one replacement team, that graduated from the MSP 2017 Basic Canine School today, the largest class of new teams in the department’s history.

With this graduating class, the MSP has 43 canine teams strategically placed throughout the state whose handlers answer calls for service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The unit handles more than 6,000 requests for service annually, making it one of the largest and busiest in the country.

“Our canine teams cover every area of this great state, providing an invaluable service to our law enforcement partners and the people who call Michigan home,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “Today is another proud day for the department. This class has the distinction of being the largest held and also during our 100th Anniversary year.”

The Basic Canine School is a 14-week intense training program conducted in-house by veteran MSP Canine Unit members. The handlers received more than 500 hours of instruction and the canine teams covered more than 100 miles on foot as they received training in various disciplines including tracking, narcotics detection, building search, area search, property search, obedience and aggression.

The last Basic Canine School graduation was in December 2015 when six new teams graduated.

The MSP Canine Unit was established in 1960. Nearly all of its 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 unit provides services in explosive, accelerant and cadaver detection, as well as the tactical entry dog program, which provides services to the MSP Emergency Support Team.

Within the last year, the unit added two black labs to focus specifically on evolving crimes. One is trained to detect explosives in motion and one is trained to identify high-tech evidence like computer equipment.

The MSP 2017 Basic Canine School graduates include:

Handler

Canine

Post Assignment

Tpr. David Bellestri

Rex

Metro South Post

Tpr. Ian Fields

Boomer

Wayland Post

Tpr. James Hutchinson

Starsky

Lakeview Post

Tpr. Adam Whited

Loki

Houghton Lake Post

Tpr. David Deuman

Chief

Gaylord Post

Tpr. Jordan Romel

Zed

Alpena Post

Tpr. Larry Rossler

Nikko

Iron Mountain Post

Tpr. Deter Kochan

Blask

Calumet Post

Tpr. Jeff Schrieber

Hildago

First District Headquarters*

Tpr. Parker Surbrook

Wilson

First District Headquarters

Tpr. Ty Purdy

Rocko

Third District Headquarters

Tpr. James Tompkins

Drake

Sixth District Headquarters

Tpr. Tyler Dougherty

Odin

Seventh District Headquarters

*indicates replacement team, not pictured

K9 Graduation 2017