New dogs on the beat

K9 Dozer still recovering from August collision
K9 Leo, a 15-month-old Dutch Shepard male is one of two police dogs that have joined the Grand Rapids Police Department's K9 unit. Photo courtesy Grand Rapids Police Department.

The Grand Rapids Police Department has some K9 Unit changes to share with the community, including two new dogs to introduce. Both K9s have passed certification and have begun service.

K9 Leo and Officer Pete Thompson

K9 Leo is partnered with Officer Pete Thompson. Leo is a 15-month-old Dutch Shepard male. He is trained in explosive detection and patrol functions.  Leo is replacing retired K9 Kilo, who left service in September. Kilo was also partnered with Officer Thompson and is now spending his retirement with the Thompson family and his new brother, K9 Leo.

 K9 Ace and Officer Kenny Nawrocki

 K9 Ace is partnered with Officer Kenny Nawrocki. Ace is an 11-month-old Belgian Malinois male and is the youngest dog to join GRPD’s K9 team. He is also trained in explosives detection and patrol functions. K9 Ace joined the department following the unexpected passing of K9 Bosco in July from an undetected medical issue. Bosco was partnered with Officer Nawrocki.

Update on Injured K9 Dozer

K9 Dozer is still receiving physical therapy for serious injuries sustained during a line-of-duty traffic crash in August.

Officer Teddy VanVliet with K9 Dozer.

The cruiser he was in was traveling southbound on Madison Ave SE with lights and sirens activated when it was struck by a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed westbound on Hall St SE.

A decision on his return to duty has not yet been made. If Dozer is unable to return, he will be retired and a new K9 will join the team.

Funds to purchase and train the new K9s came in part through support from the Grand Rapids Police Foundation. “K9s are an important part of police work,” said Sgt. Justin Kribs from the K9 Unit. “We appreciate the foundation’s support of these dogs to help keep our community safe.”


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