2017-02-02 / News

Metro Police Authority likely to pass on FPD K9

BY LANIA ROCHA
810-452-2652 • lrocha@mihomepaper.com

SWARTZ CREEK and MUNDY TOWNSHIP – When Officer Andy Grocholski left the Flint Police Department to take a job with what is now the Metro Police Authority of Genesee County, he had to leave his K9 partner behind.

“My initial thought was to bring the dog over,” said Metro Chief Dan Atkinson. “There are advantages to having K9s. Besides their usefulness, they are good for public relations.”

The problem is that the city wants $15,000 for Sonitrol, the German Shepherd the FPD purchased in December 2015 with funds donated by Sinotrol Security Systems, Atkinson said. The city’s asking price is $5,000 more than the original cost for the dog, training, equipment and supplies, records show.

The Metro Police Authority already has one K9, Roscoe, who came with Officer Nick Paul when the Swartz Creek and Mundy Township police departments merged Feb. 1.

Roscoe cost $10,000, which included training. The funds were donated by civic groups and citizens.

“That money is easy to raise,” said Dennis Pinkston, a member of the Police Authority Board and City Council. “I’d love to see a second dog. They’re such an asset.”

Pinkston said it probably won’t cost the Police Authority a dime “once people find out what you want the money for.”

Authority Board Chairman Curt Porath said he was under the impression K9s should not be separated from their handlers.

“They’re not supposed to be,” said Pinkston, a retired veterinarian.

But according to Atkinsons, there’s something else to consider: other officers may want a chance at having a K9 partner. To deny that opportunity across the board could affect morale, he said.

Meanwhile, Sonitrol is being cared for by an FPD K9 Unit officer, but he’s not working, Atkinson said.

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