Chief Michael Madden placed into service a canine program for the St. Johns Police Department last Friday, and introduced Dutch Shepherd “Duke” with his K-9 handler Officer Ben Helms and his trainer Cheryl Carlson.
Chief Madden extended special thanks to Cher Car Kennels of St. Johns, especially owner Cheryl Carlson. “This program would not be happening if not for the extreme generosity of Cheryl”, said Chief Madden. “They not only donated the dog but also the training, a value of $11,000! We are fortunate that one of the most highly respected Police Dog trainers in the Midwest is located here in St. Johns”, says Madden.
“Ms. Carlson is one of the best know experts in the industry.” She has been training and breeding dogs professionally since 1977, and instituted the Police K-9 units for the MSU Police, Ingham County Sheriff Department, East Lansing Police Department, Eaton County Sheriff Department and the Lansing Police Department, among others. Cheryl has trained and certified over fifty (50) police K-9’s from the ground up, many of her own breeding.
The Dutch Shepherd, named “Duke” was bred by Cher Car Kennels and has been trained in narcotics detection. Madden said, “drug abuse and trafficking have been steadily increasing in the St. Johns area for the past several years. Having a K-9 unit will deter drug use and catch drug dealers that frequent St. Johns.”
In addition to narcotics detection, Duke will be trained in tracking and apprehension. He will be able to do building searches, track lost subjects or criminals evading arrest, and protect his handler from physical harm. Officer Ben Helms, the K-9 handler for Duke, has also received extensive training.
Duke will be available for school and service club visits this fall.