Woods welcomes new K-9 officer

By: April Lehmbeck | Grosse Pointe Times | Published April 22, 2015

 Grosse Pointe Woods’ new police K-9, Xander, takes part in training during his first day on the job last week. Officer Ryan Shroerlucke plays the part of the violent offender for the session.

Grosse Pointe Woods’ new police K-9, Xander, takes part in training during his first day on the job last week. Officer Ryan Shroerlucke plays the part of the violent offender for the session.

Photo provided by Grosse Pointe Woods

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GROSSE POINTE WOODS — The newest member of the Public Safety Department in Grosse Pointe Woods is highly trained and road-ready, with extensive experience in tracking and drug detection.


He’s also adorable, furry, friendly and making history as one half of the city’s first K-9 team.


“Our mayor and council are very supportive of this K-9 program and have been since we first started talking about implementing a K-9 program two years ago,” City Administrator Al Fincham said in an email. “(Public Safety) Director (Bruce) Smith and I are very thankful for the mayor and council approval of this new crime fighting team, which will be a tremendous asset to our community.”


During the April 13 City Council meeting, Mayor Robert Novitke presented a plaque to the board from the K-9 Safety Partners of the Grosse Pointes in appreciation of the group’s donation to support the K-9 team in Grosse Pointe Woods. Then, on April 15, the new officer, Xander, joined the department for his first day on the job in Grosse Pointe Woods.


“The mayor was tremendously grateful to the K-9 board officers for the donation,” Fincham said in the email. “It truly was a history-making event, not only for the city (first K-9 team ever), but another step forward in the proactive approach to law enforcement for all of the Grosse Pointes.


“The mayor presented a plaque to the board in gratitude for their most generous donation of $25,000 to subsidize the K-9 program,” he said. “The plaque will be displayed in our Public Safety (Department) lobby.”


Novitke said Xander is a good addition.


“It will be a true enhancement to Grosse Pointe Woods and also all of the surrounding communities,” he said.


Officer Dan Schewe and Xander have experience in Inkster and, more recently, Harper Woods. Schewe has been working for Grosse Pointe Woods since last August, and now he’s excited to be working with Xander again.


Schewe has had Xander since 2008.


He said he’s been working with Xander at home to make sure he stayed in shape in between positions.


“It’s awesome having him back on the road,” Schewe said. “It was a big deal bringing him on board.”


On Xander’s first day in the city, Schewe was getting the dog used to going in and out of the vehicle again.


“I had him out of the car a few times, just playing with him,” Schewe said. “He’s picked right back up.


“He loves it,” Schewe said of patrolling in the car. “It’s like a second home to him.”


Schewe and Xander have support from their fellow men and women in blue.


“We had eight officers from our department in attendance to offer their support for this new K-9 program, as well as the K-9 board members,” Fincham said of the April 13 meeting.


Officers “took great pride in detailing” the K-9 vehicle, Fincham said. 


“It looks like a new car,” Fincham said. “The K-9 Safety Partners endorsement is displayed on the car in several different locations.” 


When asked why they decided to implement a K-9 team, Fincham mentioned several ways that Xander will benefit the department and community, including tracking and apprehending suspects and finding lost children.


Xander has a track record for finding and recovering illegal drugs and other items.


“We are very fortunate to have had the opportunity to implement the program with a very experienced team,” Fincham said in the email. “Officer Dan Schewe and Xander have been partners for several years.”


Xander will also be used to aid the other Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods through mutual aid.


Besides the donation from the K-9 Safety Partners, Harper Woods helped by donating equipment for the K-9 vehicle.


“(Xander’s) disposition is such that he will also be utilized in public relations in the schools and special events,” Fincham said.

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