Roseville police get first of 2 new K-9 officers

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published May 26, 2021

 The Roseville Police Department recently acquired Loki, who is now being trained in tracking and drug detection.

The Roseville Police Department recently acquired Loki, who is now being trained in tracking and drug detection.

Photo provided by the Roseville Police Department

 The Roseville Police Department’s new K-9 officer, Loki, visits Eastland Middle School May 13.

The Roseville Police Department’s new K-9 officer, Loki, visits Eastland Middle School May 13.

Photo provided by Roseville Community Schools

Advertisement

ROSEVILLE — The Roseville Police Department recently acquired the first of two new police dogs who are joining the department’s ranks this year.

“Loki,” a German shepherd, made his first visit to the city before being sent for additional training to prepare him for his new duties as a tracking and drug-sniffing dog. He was named by the seventh graders at Eastland Middle School during a visit on May 13.

“The cost of the dogs is approximately $8,500 each for the dogs and training,” said Police Chief Ryan Monroe. “The cost is coming out of drug forfeiture money. None of it is coming from the taxpayers.”

The K-9 handler for Loki will be officer Brandon Quinn, who said he has wanted to work with a K-9 ever since becoming a police officer six years ago.

“This is the first time I’ve been a K-9 officer,” he said. “Since before I started as a police officer, for the last six years, I have been hoping for a spot working with a police dog. Everybody who is a K-9 handler has always told me the K-9 is the best partner they’ve ever had. This also will let me help the community in ways I never could on my own.”

Obtaining a police dog is not a simple transaction. Departments look over potential dogs for a good match before the K-9 is then sent for additional training to hone it for the specific tasks it will have to do for that department.

“We have gotten one dog on (May 11), and we will be getting another one in the fall,” said Quinn. “We went out to Pennsylvania to Shallow Creek Kennels. They have different types of dogs that are brought in from all over the world. We looked over 10 dogs and — based on their drive and size — we picked one that would be a good choice. Now our master trainer is doing preservice training for about a month so the dog will learn the scents for narcotics and so forth,” said Quinn. “It will then enter service after a six-week course in Oakland, California, so it will join our department properly in July or August.”

Loki will serve a variety of roles with the Roseville Police Department. This includes narcotics searches, tracking missing persons or suspects, and public relations with the community.

“I’m still going to be a regular patrol officer, but he will be in the car with me,” Quinn said. “Whenever we have the need to track a suspect or missing persons, he will be available. We also will be able to use him whenever we need to search a car or house for drugs when there’s probable cause.”

Although the Roseville Police Department already has two K-9 officers, Monroe said that getting new ones was important since both current K-9 officers are nearing the end of their expected careers, and one is trained to sniff explosives rather than drugs. Changing laws regarding marijuana have also become a factor.

“We have one narcotic K-9 who is imprinted with the odor of marijuana as well as other narcotics,” he explained. “He is assigned to a federal task force right now. Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level but legal at the local level, so defense attorneys can say that narcotics located by dogs that were smelling marijuana but not any other drugs that may also have been located there is inadmissible in court. We want to make sure we are making good arrests and not creating problems for prosecutors. … We have one other dog in the city, but he is trained to track and locate explosives.”

“The K-9s usually serve for about eight years before they are retired. Injuries and health can also play a factor of course,” added Quinn.

Quinn said there is more to being a K-9 handler than many people think. It is not just a full-time job, but a responsibility each and every day.

“There’s a lot of work that goes into being a K-9 handler that people don’t see,” he said. “They are always with us. They go home with us. They can’t just sit in the car and wait for you; you have to integrate them into your day. It’s a whole lifestyle change. I’m excited to get the dog and get to work.”

Advertisement