Public donations support new Gladstone K9 police officer

GPSD's K9 unit is possible through community contributions and fundraisers.
Published: Oct. 4, 2023 at 9:34 PM EDT
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GLADSTONE, Mich. (WLUC) - The newest officer in the Gladstone Public Safety Department has four legs and wears a leash and collar as part of his uniform.

His name is Bico. Public Safety Officer Dylan Nadeau-Enright is Bico’s partner. He said Bico is a 2-and-a-half-year-old Belgian Malinois and getting him didn’t come cheap.

“The initial cost for Bico, our initial school and purchasing him was about $20,000,” he said. “And, it was all money generated from fundraising, so it was all donated money.”

Nadeau-Enright said Bico loves his job.

“He’s always wanting to work. He’s always wanting to do the next thing,” he said. “It’s a really great thing to have in a partner.”

Bico’s specialties include apprehension, tracking and narcotics detection. Recently, Bico sniffed out narcotics with a street value of about $30,000.

Nadeau-Enright and Bico follow a process when on a narcotics search.

“I will run him around the vehicle twice,” Nadeau-Enright said. “He’ll sniff the seams of the car, whether it’s your door, your trunk, wheel wells, exhaust vents.”

Whether Bico is inside or outside the vehicle, he will indicate when he’s found something by either sitting or lying down and pointing his nose where the substance is located.

All initial and ongoing costs related to the K9 unit, including dog food, vet bills and even the patrol car, are only possible through community contributions. Funding is not provided by the department or from state or federal funds.

The Dagenais Foundation, supported by Riverside Auto and First Bank, donated some of the initial money needed for Bico and his training.

“I had no idea that they were completely donor funded, and that really surprised me,” said Allison Dagenais, First Bank facilities management.

Dagenais said they donated because of the service the K9 team offers to the community.

“Being in the U.P., we’re in a heavily wooded area and sometimes you just can’t get to some of those areas by foot if you have a missing person or missing child,” Dagenais said.

To help fund Bico and the GPSD K9 unit, go to the Gladstone Public Safety Department website or call the department at 906-428-3131.