Grand Traverse Sheriff’s Office Needs New K-9 Officer

The Grand Traverse Sheriff’s Office is on the hunt for a new K-9 officer.

In April, both Jax and his handler, Matt Jerome, retired from the sheriff’s department. That means they’ll be needing a new K-9 team to fill the void. 

The Grand Traverse County commissioners approved the purchase of a new K-9 at its regular meeting on Wednesday morning. The K-9 will cost up to $12,500.

The passage of recreational marijuana in Michigan is another factor in replacing the K-9 unit, because most narcotics detection dogs are trained to find marijuana.

Lt. Brian Giddis says, “With the new law, we decided to take an opportunity to replace Jax with a K-9 that does not have marijuana detection as part of his repertoire of detection capabilities.”

A K-9 is often trained to “hit” on illegal drugs, and that has included marijuana.

Differentiating a hit for cocaine from a hit for marijuana, for example, isn’t possible for a K-9 like Jax to communicate to human officers.

The sheriff’s office says they can get a new K-9 this summer, and an existing officer will become the dog’s handler. The five-week training for the new K-9 team will begin after Labor Day.